By Guest Blogger Juanyetta Beasley, DHA, RN-CNML Nursing Director, Neonatal ICU 

The Cone Health Women’s & Children’s Center at Moses Cone Hospital opens Sunday, Feb. 23, at 5:30 a.m.

Hospitals construct new buildings all the time, but Cone Health has very intentionally worked to ensure our Women’s & Children’s Center at Moses Cone Hospital is truly “new and improved.”

We have designed a hospital completely built around the patient experience. In the design experience, we shadowed patients and families in the existing Women’s Hospital.  Few projects in the nation can match the depth of input we gathered. We believe our new building is a terrific place to work and continues to be the place so many women in the Piedmont trust for some of the most important moments of their lives.

During the design phase, Cone Health created a full-sized, cardboard model of the main floors of the new building. This “cardboard city” model allowed Cone Health providers to visualize the space, and now the space is a reality.

A trip to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is never in a family’s delivery plan, but it can still be part of a great birthing experience. Cone Health is right here with our community offering a Level III NICU for babies who arrive early and need intensive care. The new Women’s & Children’s Center’s expanded Neonatal ICU has 45 private rooms, ensuring babies have their own space and their families have private baths and overnight accommodation options. These new rooms allow the family to partner with the care team in caring for their little one, which is especially significant as studies have found that babies may go home sooner when they’ve had their family more involved in their day-to-day care.

While Cone Health has been a leader in providing couplet care for full-term babies for nearly a decade, we are excited to be one of the first in the state to provide couplet care as an option for neonatal intensive care babies. This means moms and her medically fragile infant can recover in the same room rather than being separated to different floors (like before) or even different facilities (like in other parts of the state).

Our new facility at Moses Cone Hospital will also feature an Infant Nutrition Center where specially prescribed formulas are prepared for our tiniest patients. This milk lab is staffed with technicians who mix diet-specific meals for NICU babies, well babies and eventually our children’s unit located nearby on the campus. So these patients get the nutrients needed for a strong start.

Each floor of the center includes its own distinctive colors to assist with way-finding and a unique floral theme as part of an inspirational tone. Our NICU floor features:

  • a sprout – a small but mighty beginning to life.
  • a crocus – known for blooming early.
  • a dogwood bloom as a symbol of hope.

We have placed doctor and nursing stations adjacent to patient rooms, enabling closer connection through every aspect of care. Parents of ICU babies can monitor their infant remotely or visit anytime using our free 24/7 valet parking. Patient rooms now include more privacy and natural light, as well as fold-out beds for loved ones to stay overnight. Rooms on the fourth and fifth floors have pass-through doors so families aren’t interrupted for transactional visits like picking up dirty dishes or linens.

We have even created family areas with outdoor patios at the Women’s & Children’s Center. The doors to these spaces are large enough to accommodate a hospital bed. So those women on long-term bed rest have the possibility to actually go outside – maybe even watch their other children at play or feel the sun on their faces.

It’s all part of the very thoughtful and inclusive journey we’ve been laboring over since 2014. We’re in the business of delivering babies. And let me tell you: For the past 5-plus years, this project has been OUR baby. The Cone Health brand promise is to be right here with you and I’m so proud of how this new space for preemies will be just that for families in our community.

We hope you’ll visit our virtual tour at: conehealthybaby.

*Sponsored by Cone Health