Christiana Care to Transform Women & Children’s Services

WILMINGTON, Del. — Wilmington-based Christiana Care Health System recently announced plans to transform health care for women, children and infants throughout the state with a $260 million enhancement project at Christiana Hospital.

The health care system will develop a new women and children’s facility in collaboration with patients and their families to better integrate services for mothers and babies. The project will include both new construction and renovation of existing facilities within the current Women and Children’s Building, which opened to patients in 1995. Christiana Care plans to break ground on the project in April 2017 and is aiming for a 2020 completion.

“This important investment in our community will advance the most innovative, high-quality, comprehensive specialty care for women, children and babies,” said Janice E. Nevin, M.D., MPH, president and CEO of Christiana Care Health System, in a statement. “These improvements will enable Christiana Care to provide an exceptional experience with the goal of optimal health for the women and children we serve.”

“Christiana Care is planning for the future of women and children’s health in the Delaware region by collaborating with the patients and families they serve,” said Amanda Sleeper, Ph.D., co-chair of Christiana Hospital’s volunteer Patient and Family Advisory Council, in a statement. “Christiana Care consistently translates patient feedback into concrete updates in the system’s practices. Now, in a first-of-its-kind collaboration, the design team for the new Women and Children’s Building has included those same patient voices. The result is a state-of-the-art facility that will deliver care in a friendly and healing environment, serving women, children and babies for decades to come.”

Currently, plans for the Women and Children’s Building include a new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to replace the current facility, featuring private rooms with sleep-in space for families. It will also include both new and expanded labor and delivery suites as well as private rooms for families after delivery. An expanded triage area, new labor lounge, separate admitting and discharge areas for added patient convenience, and a Continuing Care Nursery for babies with newborn jaundice, feeding challenges, neonatal abstinence syndrome, etc., will also be included. Additional parking to accommodate the expansion will be provided via a new four-level parking garage near the hospital’s main entrance for patients and visitors as well as a new employee parking deck behind the hospital.

Christiana Care Health System is one of the country’s largest health care systems, ranking as the 22nd leading hospital in the nation and 12th on the East Coast in terms of admissions. In 2014, more than 6,450 babies were born at Christiana Hospital — an average of more than 17 births each day — making Christiana Hospital one of the busiest maternity centers on the East Coast, according to a statement by the health care system.

“At the foundation of Christiana Care’s innovative model of women and children’s services is a stronger partnership between women and their health care providers to ensure optimal health prior to pregnancy, provide increased access to prenatal care during pregnancy, and give babies the healthiest start possible once they are born,” said David A. Paul, M.D., chair of Pediatrics and clinical leader of Christiana Care’s Women and Children’s service line, in a statement. “Through this project, our investments in our community — concrete, programmatic and collaborative — will strengthen the health of women and children in Delaware and our region.”