By Kelly Medinger
University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center uses health care grant to renovate and expand Mother Baby Unit
Special deliveries arrive each day at University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center: more than 2,200 babies are born at the Catholic hospital in Towson every year.
St. Joe’s recently completed a campaign to renovate and expand its Mother Baby Unit, where the arrival of new life is celebrated in fine fashion. “Each birth is a sacred event,” describes Judy Rossiter, MD, Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Director of the Perinatal Center. “The mother is an integral part of the team and decisions are made with her input. We do what is best for the baby and the mother, in body and spirit.”
About the Hospital
For more than 150 years, University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center has provided loving service and compassionate care to the greater Baltimore community. Notably, the 238-bed hospital in Towson is the only Catholic hospital in Baltimore County providing obstetric services.
“That is what sets us apart – our commitment to our faith-based mission,” states Jill Huey, Executive Director of the UM St. Joseph Medical Center Foundation. Daily prayers are said over the intercom. Brahms Lullaby plays every time a baby is born. A memorial service is held for all babies who are lost each year. “Our faith sets the tone for everything that happens in this institution,” Huey recounts.
In 2012, the hospital became part of the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS). Because UMMS is a privatized system, St. Joe’s was able to remain a Catholic hospital operating under the ethical and religious directives of the Church. “After nearly four years in UMMS, we have returned to profitability, have received numerous awards for excellence and, most importantly, our patients have come back, drawn by the loving care they experience,” comments Senator Francis X. Kelly, Jr., Chairman of the medical center’s Operating Board.
Raising Standards… and Money
That loving care is especially evident in the Mother Baby Unit. Yet the physical space has not always matched the superior level of service that families receive. Until recently, parts of the unit had remained untouched since the hospital was built in 1965.
In 2015, St. Joe’s embarked on a capital campaign, Building For Our Future, to address the facility’s needs. The total cost to renovate the Mother Baby Unit was $2 million, and all $2 million was raised from public and private support – in just one year. The Knott Foundation awarded the largest foundation grant to the campaign, funding the design schematics for the renovated space.
When finished in 2017, there will be a new welcome area with better signage, improved triage space, renovated postpartum rooms, and a bereavement room for families who experience a loss. With these enhancements, the hospital will be able to provide enhanced care for families, including a faster and more private experience for expectant mothers when they arrive at St. Joe’s to give birth.
In the meantime, more special deliveries arrive each and every day as St. Joe’s joins new moms and dads in celebrating the birth of their children.