St. Vincent to establish new Women and Infants Center

Highmark Health, Allegheny Health Network, and Saint Vincent Hospital announced today the next phase of the hospital’s transformation strategy, sharing details of a planned $9.5 million investment to establish a new Women and Infants Center at the hospital.


The project is part of Highmark Health’s $115 million investment plan for Saint Vincent and the Erie market, which was announced earlier this year.  Construction of the AHN Women and Infants Center is expected to begin this week.


Located on the hospital’s fifth floor, the facility will house labor and delivery, postpartum, gynecologic, breast, infant and neonatal intensive care services.


“Women are often the gatekeepers for family health and this investment is all about providing the highest level of care and compassion for women and the newest members of their families,” said AHN President and CEO, Cynthia Hundorfean.  “The AHN Women and Infants Center at Saint Vincent further reflects the commitment AHN and Highmark have made to advance a truly patient-centered healthcare model in Erie.”  


The Center will include newly created labor, delivery, and post-partum patient rooms. Each room will feature beautifully remodeled bathrooms with ceramic tile floors, walls, and shower, as well as luxury vanities and fixtures.  Every room will also have new cabinetry and elegant, but comfortable furniture, as well as the latest advanced medical equipment.


A new family-friendly reception area and renovated corridors will greet patients and visitors when they enter the floor, and redesigned state-of-the-art nursing stations will improve both workflow and communication with both patients and visitors. 


The patient triage area will be expanded and overall enhancements will be made to the lactation consult room and staff support areas. 


“Our goal is to redefine women’s healthcare at Saint Vincent by offering unsurpassed accommodations, clinical expertise, and technologic sophistication,” said Saint Vincent president Christopher Clark, DO, MHA.  “This beautiful, state-of-the-art space will achieve that vision and more, enhancing our ability to provide the highest quality healthcare for infants and for women throughout their life stages.”  


According to Dr. Clark, the new Center will continue to offer state-of-the-art security measures to ensure the safety of mothers, babies, and families, including the Hugs and Kisses infant security system and an onsite manned security station.


“The exceptional care, comfort, and security that women have come to expect at Saint Vincent, both for themselves and their newborns, will now be matched by a new, beautiful, warm and welcoming setting,” said Kathy Vitale, RN, director of Women’s Services at Saint Vincent.


Saint Vincent delivered 1,081 babies in 2016 and cared for 158 of the region’s most vulnerable infants in its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).  The Saint Vincent NICU is a Level III NICU, which means it is designated to care for babies born at less than 32 weeks gestation as well as babies born with critical illness at all gestational ages.


Recently honored by Highmark with its Blue Distinction designation for Maternity Care,

Saint Vincent provides diverse services for women and infants, including obstetrics and certified midwifery, gynecology, gynecologic oncology, breast health, pelvic health and women’s rehabilitation, bone and joint health, and the region’s only full-time Erie-based fetal-maternal medicine physician, who specializes in high-risk pregnancies.


The Women and Infants Center construction will take place in several phases, with completion expected in late 2018. 


In May, the hospital broke ground on the first phase of its investment strategy, which includes a new, state-of-the-art Emergency Department and operating room suite.

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