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Health news and issues in the Ozarks.

CoxHealth Celebrates Near Completion of New Tower

The new ten-story west tower at Cox South houses the Dee Ann White Women's and Children's Hospital and the Jared Neurosciences Center.  The public got a chance to tour the 343,000 square-foot, $130 million addition during an open house celebration Saturday.  The ground floor is home to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), which features 28 beds each in a private room with space for a parent to spend the night.  Parents also have a private lounge with a kitchen, free Wi-Fi, TV, shower and more.  Nursing stations are replaced with modular nursing, which places caregivers closer to patients.

The first floor contains the Pediatrics and Pediatrics Intensive Care Units with 26 pediatric beds and six PICU beds for children from infants through age 18 each in private rooms.  Each pediatric room has an Xbox gaming system.

Women and Newborns is on the second floor with 32 private rooms.  

During a tour, administrative director of nursing for Women's and Children's Services, Beth Rutherford, pointed out the new "decentralized" nursing model, which can be seen throughout the new tower.

"What that does is it puts nursing much closer to patient bedsides, which helps responsiveness," she said.

Nurse Melissa Twente is excited about working in the new space.

"For the nurses it's so much more convenient because of the pod system...that we have now we're much closer to our patients and so we can get to them quicker if they need something and we can be right there.  They can see us," she said.

Three upper floors are home to the Jared Neuroscience Center for inpatient and outpatient neuro care.  There's a rehab gym, clinic space for the neurology and neurosurgery specialty teams and a specialty clinic for ALS and Parkinson's patients.

The ground floor of the new addition has windows that are designed to withstand strong winds, so NICU patients don't have to be moved in a tornado warning.

Rod Schaffer, vice-president, facilities management, says the new addition will accommodate patient needs well into the future.

"Everything you see here is sustainable, and it's actually going to be a landmark for this community," he said.

The expansion was built to LEED standards.  It's set to open in mid July.