The vision of Moses Taylor Hospital was to become the region's leader in women's healthcare. The first step to this goal was to establish a family birthing unit that previously did not exist at the hospital. The original Family Birthing Suites at Moses Taylor opened in 2000 and were soon followed by the expansion of the unit and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in 2005. The design team listened to the goals set forth by the hospital and responded with a facility that supported its family-centered philosophy.

Patient rooms were designed to promote the perspective of childbirth as wellness. Materials and finishes were selected to create a welcoming atmosphere, and all patient rooms have a guest-room feel. Each patient room was planned to care for mom and baby as a couplet. All equipment and technology were integrated into the design and aesthetics of the suite.

Because the family-centered philosophy views family as the primary support for mom, all Communication Stations were designed to be central and more approachable for families. The new unit includes a Nourishment café planned to serve patients and their families. Patient rooms in Labor- Delivery, Mom-Baby, and NICU were designed with a zone for families where sleeping and storage accommodations are provided.

The private-room concept of the NICU was planned to meld the entire program into a holistic approach to mother and baby care. The attention to privacy and the family's role in the care for baby were foremost in design sensitivities.

Project category: New construction & Remodel/Renovation (completed September 2005)

Chief administrator: Beth Lavely, BSN, NMC, RN, Executive Director of Women's and Children's Services, (570) 340-3015

Firm: Highland Associates, (570) 586-4334

Design team: Robert Breslin, Project Manager; Charles Consagra, Principal-in-Charge; Tracy Nelson Wescott, Architectural Designer; Ronda L. Beemer, Interior Designer

Photography: Fromholz Photography

Total building area (sq. ft.): 17,532 (new); 24,722 (renovation)

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $221 (new); $84 (renovation)

Total construction cost (excluding land): $3,879,745 (new); $2,072,235 (renovation)