Project category: Addition (completed January 2006)

Chief administrator: Luther Lewis, FACHE, CEO, (870) 864-3290

Firm: Sterling Barnett Little, Inc., (817) 792-2100

Design team: Michael Barnett, AIA, Project Principal; Cliff Clark, Project Manager; Kellye J. Johnson, AIA, NCARB, Chief Project Planner; Ruben Rodriguez, Project Coordinator; Monica S.G. White, TAID, RID, Director of Interior Design (Sterling Barnett Little, Inc.); Scott Woodward, PE, MEP Systems Project Manager (TME Consulting Engineers)

Photography: Michael Lyon Photography

Total building area (sq. ft.): 29,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $246

Total construction cost (excluding land): $7,121,623

The Women's Center is designed as a family-centered addition to the Medical Center of South Arkansas campus and is dedicated to providing care for women and the children who are born in South Arkansas. The expansion, on the north side of the campus, connects to the existing hospital on the first floor.

As you enter through the dedicated maternity entrance on the ground floor of the Women's Center, you are greeted by a reception counter and waiting room illuminated with natural light from the curtainwall system. From the entry, expectant mothers can travel to the first floor via a dedicated elevator to one of the five Labor, Delivery, and Recovery Rooms (LDRs). After delivery, once mother and newborn are recovered, they return to one of the 14 postpartum beds on the ground floor. The Postpartum Rooms are designed with accommodating furnishings, warm finishes, and spacious windows. To aid new moms in recovery and allow much needed rest, a 12-station Well-Baby Nursery is provided in the center of the unit, and babies are monitored at all times by a state-of-the-art infant security system.

The first floor of the Women's Center accommodates five LDRs, each designed with comfortable furnishings for Mom and partner, and two Antepartum Rooms for additional care for moms if needed. Along with the LDRs on the second floor is a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) designed with four open bassinet stations, four private/isolation rooms, and a four-bed Continuing Care Nursery, all located around a central nurses' station and focused on providing care to meet special medical needs of critically ill newborns. The unit is designed with large windows that allow natural light but, depending on the newborns' needs, the light can be blocked. Also provided to assist families with newborns in the NICU are two parent sleep rooms that allow the family to stay at the hospital.

There are two new corridor connections to the existing hospital. One provides access for public and support services from the main campus, and the other is a dedicated entrance to Surgery on the second floor, which will provide necessary support for cesarean sections.

The Women's Center addition to the Medical Center of South Arkansas continues the tradition of providing an exceptional birth experience for Mom, newborn, and family.