A New Warm Welcome
Jackson Hospital renovates Mom & Baby Center
By David Zaslawsky
Photography by Robert Fouts
A custom mosaic mural will greet families and visitors when they enter the renovated and redesigned Mom & Baby Center at Jackson Hospital in November.
Mosaic artist Enid Probst has been commissioned to design the mural, which according to Jackson Hospital’s Partners publication will let people know: “You have arrived at a special place.”
The $3 million project will result in the same 14 rooms, but the rooms will be twice the size – about 300 square feet. The goal is to keep most of the patients in the same room for labor, delivery and recovery. Michael James, vice president and chief operating officer of Jackson Hospital, calls it “a full-service room. We’re hoping you come in here and spend your two or three days in the same room.”
The rooms will be “more open, user-friendly; room for the family; the patient, to accommodate (others) as needed,” James said. He said that the unit has been designed in zones – zones for staff, baby, patient and family.
Everything will be new “from the bathroom to the baby holding area,” James said. He means everything. And it will be decorated to the hilt. “The unit will focus on botanical elements and new life in flowers and butterflies – elements of nature that will carry through the unit,” said Janet McQueen, president of the Jackson Hospital Foundation, which is funding the renovation project. She said the unit will have photos of blooms of flowers, blades of grass – “elements of nature that you would find uplifting.” There will be a contest to encourage local photographers to submit entries, which will be judged by a professional panel.
“By integrating nature photography, we will be reinforcing new life and hope,” AnnMarie Jackson, director of interior design for the architectural and engineering firm of Sherlock, Smith and Adams Inc., said in Partners. The local firm is designing the unit.
“We’re determined to be the very best that we can be and the most aesthetically pleasing that we can provide for our patients,” McQueen said. “We’re going to lighten, brighten; just gear it to kind of a spa-like feeling for our patients.”
The rooms will have sleeper couches as well as bedside tables and overbed tables not to mention dual televisions.
“As we look at the community needs, which is what we do when we are planning for our services, we know that women are a very important part of the health care decision-makers,” said Joe Riley, president and CEO of Jackson Hospital. “We want to serve the women of the River Region so that’s how this project blossomed.”
He expects Jackson Hospital, which had about 1,300 births last year, will grow that number by 3 percent in 2015 and eventually reach between 1,400 and 1,500 births a year. “We are focused on the communities that we serve and the family experience at Jackson Hospital,” Riley said.
The Jackson Hospital Foundation has funded numerous projects, but not one of this magnitude, including a near $3 million capital campaign when the hospital was being built.
The foundation did fund the original da Vinci robot that cost $1 million-plus and have funded a number of $600,000 projects. “We purchased all the simulated mannequins used for nursing education,” McQueen said. The foundation paid for the sixth-floor heating unit renovation.
McQueen said that the foundation “was in complete agreement (about) an opportunity to start this project from scratch and create the kind of experience that a woman would hope to have who is hospitalized. It’s patient-friendly. It’s spacious with an amazing amount of taste.”
Carl Barker, chairman of the Jackson Hospital Foundation, said, “The foundation’s whole purpose is to serve the mission of the hospital – to serve this community. When we started talking and heard Joe, Janet and Michael’s enthusiasm about this particular project everybody was 100 percent on board.” The board consists of 15 to 20 “professionals in the community who care about the community and care about the hospital,” Barker said.
“People give to us to watch their dollars go to work in a positive way and that’s what this (project) is going to do,” McQueen said.
Riley said that the renovated unit is “less fragmented. We’re using the space better for the continuum of care and the functionality of coming in for triage; having a baby; having all the education required as far as mom and baby care; just everything geared toward the convenience and comfort of the mother and baby.”