Metro-East News

New hospital development is all about cancer patients, moms and babies

Dr. Sessions Cole, chief medical officer for St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and Dr. George Macones, Barnes-Jewish Hospital chief of obstetrics and gynecology, stand on the 110-foot-long skywalk that connects the Women and Infants Center with neonatal intensive care.
Dr. Sessions Cole, chief medical officer for St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and Dr. George Macones, Barnes-Jewish Hospital chief of obstetrics and gynecology, stand on the 110-foot-long skywalk that connects the Women and Infants Center with neonatal intensive care. dholtmann@bnd.com

Officials at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Washington University Physicians, Siteman Cancer Center and St. Louis Children’s Hospital gave media tours of their new development in the Central West End on Friday.

Here are some highlights:

Construction is over

Buildings that originally housed the old Jewish Hospital and its nursing school have been replaced with a new 12-story Parkview Tower and an adjoining expansion of St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

The development takes advantage of proximity to Forest Park, as many of its private hospital rooms overlook the park or rooftop gardens.

“Patient-care areas are being readied in the buildings, and transition into the state-of-the-art facilities will occur over the next two months,” according to a press release.

This ends years of construction at the intersection of Kingshighway and Forest Park Avenue, relieving traffic congestion and making it easier for patients and employees to get where they’re going.

Commitment to babies

Much of the new development is devoted to mothers and newborns, particularly those who need special care during or after delivery.

The Women and Infants Center in Parkview Tower includes 52 obstetrics inpatient beds, 18 labor and delivery rooms, 12 assessment rooms, two C-section rooms and one fetal surgery operating room.

01918DH labor room
The Women and Infants Center in Barnes-Jewish Hospital’s new Parkview Tower includes 18 labor and delivery rooms, which are only a skywalk away from the St. Louis Children’s Hospital neonatal intensive-care unit in case of emergency. Derik Holtmann dholtmann@bnd.com

“If we can’t commit to babies, we’re losing our future,” said Dr. Sessions Cole, chief medical officer for St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “Babies have the longest horizon for clinical outcomes. So if we make a baby better, they are going to live for 70 or 80 years.”

In case of emergency

The Women and Infants Center is connected to the St. Louis Children’s Hospital neonatal intensive-care unit by a 110-foot-long skywalk to accommodate newborns who need treatment for medical complications.

“It’s a little bit more than the distance between the mound and home plate,” Cole said, noting there are many advantages to keeping mothers and babies together in those early hours and days. And “sometimes minutes count” when a newborn is in distress, he said.

One would have to drive to Chicago or the East Coast to find a similar facility with similar services, according to Cole and Dr. George Macones, Barnes-Jewish Hospital chief of obstetrics and gynecology.

Advanced cancer care

Another part of Parkview Tower will house Siteman Cancer Center services for those who need hospitalization during advanced or complex treatment.

That includes 160 private rooms and 10 bone-marrow transplant intensive-care-unit beds with the latest in medical technology.

“All of the monitoring is now digital,” said Dr. Tim Eberlein, director of Siteman. “No longer do you have cords everywhere.”

Rooms were designed with the comfort of patients and their families in mind. All have couches and recliners that fold down into beds, lockers for securing valuables and USB ports for charging mobile devices. Food can be ordered on a touch screen.

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Barnes-Jewish Hospital’s new Parkview Tower houses Siteman Cancer Center services for those who need hospitalization during advanced or complex treatment. Rooms have couches and recliners, lockers for securing valuables and USB ports for charging mobile devices. Derik Holtmann dholtmann@bnd.com

“If (employees) have to take the trash out or gather linens, they don’t have to disturb the patient,” said Nancy Cole-Davis, BJC HealthCare director of design. “Everything is close to the door.”

Uplifting patients

The St. Louis Children’s Hospital expansion also includes 96 pediatric beds, 40 private neonatal intensive-care-unit beds and a second Ronald McDonald family room.

Parkview Tower adds 15 inpatient intensive-care beds, 12 operating rooms and five interventional rooms for adult services.

Officials received input from 750 patients, family members, nurses and others while planning for the development. Attention was paid to every detail, including themed artwork and paint colors.

“We talked to cancer patients, and they wanted bright colors,” Cole-Davis said. “When they opened their eyes, they wanted to be inspired and uplifted.”

Teri Maddox: 618-239-2473, @BNDwriter

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