After two years of dreaming and building, the newest addition to Cox Medical Center South is welcoming patients. The Dee Ann White Women’s and Children’s Hospital and the Jared Neuroscience Center, housed inside the 10-story annex, offer cutting-edge care in an environment that elevates privacy and gives families a sense of calm and comfort. We took a peek inside the $130 million, 343,000-square-foot expansion and found the five most interesting aspects of the space.
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
From a single room lined with incubators to a 28-bed, private-room model, the NICU has been transformed. Now, the rooms provide an intimate space where parents can bond with their babies in solitude surrounded by natural light that streams in from the windows. Each room is equipped with a couch that folds out into a twin bed, so parents can be with their newborns around the clock. Other comforts of home, like a shower room, kitchen and lounge with free WiFi and television, make it possible for parents to take care of themselves without having to be apart from their little ones for too long. Traditional nursing stations have been replaced with modular ones located between every two rooms to maximize response time.
The top three floors of the new Cox Medical Center South tower house several neuro practices including neurosurgery, neurology and others.
Integration of Care in the Neuroscience Center
Multiple trips to the doctor can be draining on people who are struggling with their health. That’s one of the reasons all inpatient and outpatient neuroscience care has been relocated to the upper three floors of the new tower. Here you’ll find neurology, neurosurgery, neuropsychology, physical medicine and rehabilitation. This puts doctors in closer proximity to their patients and eliminates them having to separate their clinical and hospital times, which creates a more efficient work environment. The new neuroscience center also houses a Parkinson’s clinic. An ALS clinic for people with Lou Gehrig’s disease will begin seeing patients in October.
Family Garden Areas
Being able to warm up in the sunshine or breathe in fresh air is far from the mind of someone whose loved one is sick, yet having a place of respite is important for every caretaker. Cox South now has two healing gardens designed to refresh and inspire those who visit. The Community Garden is open to everyone while the Neonatal Intensive Care Garden is open only to NICU families. In the NICU garden, bricks are engraved with hopeful messages, as well as the names of NICU graduates.
In designing the look and feel of the new building, the key principles of a positive family experience, caregiver support and safety guided the plans. As a result, curved walls and natural stone can be found throughout the space, and there are lots of social areas where loved ones can gather. In the NICU, you’ll find a soothing color palette, and systems were installed to diminish sound. Using light in clever ways was also a design theme. A light system in the stairwell changes color each month to bring awareness to a specific charity or health issue. In the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, a bubble wall that sounds a bit like a fish tank has color-changing lights for the kids’ entertainment.
To alleviate the extra stress that sometimes comes with finding a spot in the lot, patients and guests of Cox South may now take advantage of free valet parking. In partnership with Springfield Parking Company, valets are on site 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday at the North Entrance and the West Tower Entrance.