Leading SA: University Health Women’s and Children’s Hospital Chief Nursing Officer discusses new facility

The facility is set to open on August 24

SAN ANTONIO – University Health’s brand new Women’s and Children’s Hospital is close to opening, and it can be a game changer for so many families in and around the San Antonio area.

Irene Sandate, Chief Nursing Officer of the new Women’s & Children’s Hospital at University Health, joined Leading SA to explain the new facility.

Sandate detailed the process of getting the new facility, specifically on the demand needed not only in San Antonio but in the region.

We knew that we were outgrowing our current spaces. Some time ago. This project has been under development for several years now. University Health has an expansive ambulatory network. Many clinics out in our community serve the citizens of their county and San Antonio, and we saw grow a substantial growth in the number of women seeking prenatal care with us. In addition to serving San Antonio, we also serve the region as well. And so with the projected growth of San Antonio over the next decade and also in our attempt to create better spaces for moms to connect with their babies or families to stay connected with their children that were hospitalized. Our leadership made a great decision several years ago to embark on this project,” Sandate said.

The new facility covers a wide range of needs for local families.

From a normal delivery to a complex delivery as well. And we had all those services. We’re continuing to refine and grow those services currently. We needed to put all of those services under one roof,” Sandate said. “We’re also a level four maternal and neonatal facility that is the highest level of care designated by the state.”

University Health states it will be the first hospital in South Texas exclusively focused on the unique needs of women and children.

We’re important to the community for access. If you’re having a difficult time, your child is having a difficult time, a complex pregnancy, for instance, your child may have been injured by a traumatic event, and our services provide everything that our community needs. That’s our mission. And we know that this facility, having all services under one roof, is really going to be a game changer for the citizens of San Antonio and their county,” Sandate said.

The new location will be a place where women, children, and their families are surrounded by all of the experts and technologies to provide the highest level of compassionate care.

Sandate elaborated on a unique service the hospital will provide, Mother’s Place, a place for women to walk in and pump their breast milk and store it.

There are two exclusive and private breastfeeding rooms or nursing mothers’ suites. Also, mother’s milk is medicine for preterm infants, for any infant, but in particular for premature infants. We need those mothers that have a baby in the room to be able to pump and store their breast milk and never feel as if they’re running out of space,” Sandate said.

As the hospital is being billed as truly state-of-the-art, Sandate shared more on the technology built into the facility that they believe is everything a woman needs for in and outpatient care.

“There’s a lot of technology embedded in that. We are one of the most wired hospitals or health systems in the United States, and there’s a lot of safety that comes with that. And in addition to that, we have many ways to monitor pregnancies or an unborn child in our women’s areas,” Sandate said. “We also have a 24/7, 365 women’s urgent care for women with gynecologic and obstetric issues who stop by regardless of the time of day, regardless of the day of the week that provides access.”

Additionally, the new facility will include an arts and craft area for children.

Highlights of the new hospital include:

  • A Mother’s Place breastfeeding support center
  • 24/7 Women’s Center for OB/GYN emergencies
  • A dedicated Children’s Emergency Department
  • Spacious labor & delivery rooms, some with labor tubs
  • Large C-section rooms for complex deliveries, including resuscitation areas for multiple
  • Spacious family lounges on every floor
  • Private patient rooms for NICU babies so parents can stay
  • Gyms for pediatric inpatient rehabilitation
  • Child Life Center with a performance area, play area, and medical playroom

Special amenities at the 24/7 Women’s Center for OB-GYN emergencies include:

  • Large, private labor and delivery suites
  • Level IV (most advanced) maternal care facility
  • Spacious, private inpatient rooms
  • A Mother’s Place breastfeeding support center and Milk Depot
  • Spacious family lounges on every floor

About the Author

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.

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