Olmsted Medical Center Opens Women’s Health Pavilion


Olmsted Medical Center Opens Women’s Health Pavilion

The new Women’s Health Pavilion at Olmsted Medical Center (OMC) brings the best of medicine and the comforts of home together under one roof. Patients at the new care center find gently curving walls, spacious rooms, luxurious soaking tubs, customized regional art displays, gourmet coffee service and yes, even a fireplace. “This is going to be a family environment, like a home away from home,” says James Hoffmann, D.O., medical vice president of hospital and surgical services at OMC. “People will feel comfortable through the whole process when they step inside.”


After more than two years of conception and construction, the 85,000-square-foot, three-level Women’s Health Pavilion at OMC’s Fourth Street Southeast campus opens to patients this fall. With a focus on obstetrics and gynecology, the pavilion encompasses OMC’s updated BirthCenter, along with a host of outpatient health and wellness services. Despite its name, the Women’s Health Pavilion also offers some services for men, notes Sue Klenner, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at OMC. The psychiatry and psychology departments, which previously did not have dedicated space, now have a permanent home on the ground level of the Women’s Health Pavilion. Plastic surgery is also located on the ground level, with a private entrance and its own parking on the southwest side of the hospital. Other services available in the pavilion include family practice, imaging, bone density scanning, social services and stereotactic breast biopsies. For some patients, bedside check-in is an option, allowing them to bypass the admissions desk. “Our goal has been to create better coordination of services—to bring complementary services together, like a one-stop shop,” Klenner says. “And it also improves doctor collaboration.” Nearly all physicians’ offices are located in one hallway on the main floor, allowing the physicians to easily consult with one another. In addition, the Women’s Health Pavilion features a Still Missed Garden, dedicated to people who have died, and a special benefactor recognition area to celebrate OMC’s supporters. Free Wi-Fi can be accessed throughout the complex, and great attention was paid to the furnishings, from artwork on the ceilings in some patient rooms to a cozy fireplace in a lower-level waiting room.


At the heart of the new Women’s Health Pavilion is the sprawling second-floor BirthCenter, which incorporates the latest technology alongside spa-like comforts. The BirthCenter comprises 14 spacious rooms for labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum care (LDRP), each featuring updated amenities. OMC’s former birth center, where around 1,000 babies were born each year, had shared bathrooms and cramped rooms. The new rooms each include a large, private soaking tub and have nearly twice as much space, allowing plenty of room for visiting dads, family and friends. Additionally, every room has a special labor bed, a pullout couch, hidden medical equipment, a fridge and customized artwork from regional artists. “We did preserve the LDRP model because that’s always been central to how we run things at OMC,” says Dr. Hoffmann, who specializes in obstetrics and gynecology. “This is our DNA. This is what we do. Now, with the Women’s Health Pavilion, we can finally offer our patients what they have come to expect and what they deserve.” The updated BirthCenter includes six rooms dedicated for women who have had a cesarean section or need observation. It also features an enhanced security system; doulas, who provide support in special circumstances; a dedicated C-section operating room; a certified nurse midwife program, offering delivery and primary care services; and level one and level two nursery care, with two rooms for newborns who need extra care, similar to a private nursery

A key goal in designing the BirthCenter was to create a comfortable atmosphere that downplays the obtrusive look and feel of the advanced technology. “Our philosophy is that this is our patients’ labor experience, and we want the technology to be in the background,” Dr. Hoffmann explains. “We don’t want technology to overshadow the experience.”

THE ROAD TO GROWTH The concept of the Women’s Health Pavilion as a home away from home for patients began percolating several years ago. The hospital campus on Fourth Street Southeast, which dates back to the 1950s, was “tired,” and despite renovations and expansions, it was lacking in services and space, Dr. Hoffmann says. The lobby was too small, and there were too few waiting areas. Access to the emergency room wasn’t convenient, and pregnant women and their families often had to wait for appointments alongside people who were ill. OMC was running out of space and failing to meet patients’ changing expectations, Dr. Hoffmann says. In 2012, OMC purchased land to the west of its hospital campus, where it razed the former city maintenance and garage buildings. Ground-breaking for the $25-million Women’s Health Pavilion took place in July 2013, and the grand opening celebration is this November. The construction project, which includes the pavilion and additional patient parking areas, effectively doubled the size of OMC’s hospital campus, says OMC Spokesman Jeremy Salucka. The project includes updates to other areas of the hospital as well. OMC is replacing the current hospital’s north entrance and canopy and has resurfaced the hospital’s exterior to match the pavilion’s updated appearance. As departments move from the hospital to the pavilion, space will become available for other services. The hospital’s interior will be substantially renovated to accommodate these changes.

The Women’s Health Pavilion project, along with updating the OMC hospital, are focused on one thing—the patient. With expanded services, enhanced privacy, friendlier waiting rooms and improved ER access, patients can now get the medical care they need, along with a quality healthcare experience. “It’s an exciting time here at Olmsted Medical Center,” Dr. Hoffmann says in a video about the facility. “This expansion will help us serve our patients more thoughtfully, more strategically and more carefully.”

Jennifer Gangloff is a freelance editor and writer in Rochester.