By Brian Robbins – Reporter, St. Louis Business Journal
After a $18 million gift by the Boniface Foundation, Mercy Hospital South has announced plans for a new labor and delivery unit expected to be completed in early 2021.
The Boniface Foundation, which was once part of the hospital but is now an independently operated organization that focuses on giving back to Mercy Hospital South and other organizations in the community, will be funding the project.
The rebuild will include 14 large labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum rooms (LDRPs), with separate family waiting rooms close to the mothers’ rooms. The design combination will provide mothers with additional space in their rooms while also meeting their privacy needs, according to Mercy.
Construction is planned in four phases beginning in late 2019 and lasting through early 2021.
A mockup of what one of the new rooms will look like inside Mercy Hospital South.
Sean Hogan, president of Mercy Hospital South, said the upgrades will help expecting mothers have a more comfortable experience during their stay.
“There will be a consistency of nursing staff across the entire stay after a mother gives birth,” Hogan said. “She’ll have the same nurses, the same room, and there will be bigger and more beautiful rooms. It’ll just be more appealing to the women who really have a choice where they deliver their babies.”
In addition, the project will include an 8-bed, Level II neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), a relocated perinatal center, four triage rooms, renovated operating rooms and space for future growth.
After St. Anthony’s Hospital and Mercy merged in 2017, the organization held community roundtables asking residents what they would like renovated at the hospital. Hogan said a new labor and delivery unit was always at the top of the list.
Hogan said the hospital is currently hiring registered nurses, and expects the hospital to grow larger once the labor and delivery unit finishes construction.
“Based on the demographics and the projected analysis of how many deliveries that we could accommodate, we believe that we’ll be growing by about 30 percent,” he said. “I don’t know the equivalent of the number of (full-time) employees that will acquaint to, but we’re hiring 200 more nurses right now. This will just continue the growth that we’ve been experiencing since our affiliation with Mercy.”
Mercy Hospital South was ranked eighth in the Business Journal’s 2018 list of the largest St. Louis hospitals, with an estimated revenue of $475.62 million, and 2,939 local full-time employees.