Health Cover Stories

Healthy Start: Washington University Physicians

Medical Science evolves on a daily basis, and health care systems are expected to keep up with the ever-changing landscape. Dr. Alison G. Cahill, chief of Washington University maternal-fetal medicine, says Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Washington University Physicians are proud to announce the new Women & Infants Center. The calming, personalized space uses the most advanced techniques to care for patients at critical stages—pregnancy and childbirth.

St. Louisans have watched the Washington University medical campus in the Central West End transform over the past several years under a $1.5 billion campus renewal project, and the Women & Infants Center is an exciting part of that, Cahill says. Located in the new, 12-story Parkview Tower at Kingshighway Boulevard and Forest Park Avenue, the technologically advanced facility is equipped to handle every aspect of care a mother and baby might need. Private patient rooms, a family area, maternity rooftop garden, convenient parking and a host of other amenities make the center an ideal place to welcome new family members into the world, Cahill says.

The center is an equal boon to moms with typical pregnancies and those with high-risk situations like multiple or preterm births or health complications, Cahill notes. “Washington University has a long-standing reputation for high-quality care,” she says. “This is a facility that puts patients and families first, whether the mother and baby need specialized attention or not.” The maternal-fetal medicine specialists make up one of the largest high-risk pregnancy practices in the St. Louis area. Washington University is ranked the seventh-best medical school in the nation for obstetrics and gynecology for 2019 by U.S. News & World Report. The physicians use their expertise to provide the highest quality of care, and also to advance women’s health through innovative research and training the leaders of tomorrow, Cahill says.

She notes that the center was designed with comfort in mind for important health reasons. Research shows that newborns develop best in environments with natural light and low ambient noise, so its spaces were built to that purpose. “The color scheme is mild and soothing, there is attractive artwork and pleasant light, and the patient floors are very quiet,” Cahill says. “There also are lovely views of Forest Park and other amenities like a garden courtyard near the labor and delivery area.”

The Women & Infants Center is based on the idea of physical connectedness, both in terms of the facility’s spaces and the patients who use them. The floor plan is open and easy to navigate, and it’s directly joined to the expanded level IV newborn intensive care unit so family members easily can visit infants there. “Keeping mothers and families near their babies, especially when they are sick or need additional help, is incredibly important,” Cahill says. There’s also a particular emphasis on early mother-infant bonding that includes breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact. “It’s wonderful to have a calm, peaceful environment that supports these important needs,” she notes.

Cahill says the maternal-fetal medicine practice has been growing to serve more patients since the new facility opened. The specialists also see patients at Missouri Baptist Medical Center and Progress West Hospital. “It’s so satisfying to have people return and tell us how great their experiences have been for this incredibly important life event,” Cahill notes. “We know every patient is unique, and we are dedicated to providing care tailored to each one.”

Washington University’s maternal-fetal specialists provide complete, personalized care for expectant mothers and babies at the new Women & Infants Center. Pictured on the cover: Ebony Carter, M.D., MPH; Jeannie Kelly, M.D., M.S.; Molly Stout, M.D., MSCI; Alison Cahill, M.D., MSCI; Roxanne Rampersad, M.D.; Nandini Raghurman, M.D., M.S.; Shayna Conner, M.D., MSCI. For more information, call 314.454.8181 or visit obgyn.wustl.edu.

Cover design by Washington University Physicians
Cover photo by Bill Barrett

Pictured above: Dr. Nandini Raghurman and Dr. Alison Cahill.

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