New maternity wing opens at CMC-Pineville
South Charlotte News South
Wednesday, Mar. 16, 2011

New maternity wing opens at CMC-Pineville

Phase 2 of construction project should be complete by April 2012

Additions and renovations to Carolinas Medical Center-Pineville are in the second phase and expected to be completed in April 2012.

The hospital, which serves Pineville, the south Charlotte area and parts of South Carolina, applied for state funding for the project in 2009. The estimated cost is $300 million.

With the additions, the hospital will expand from 175,000 to 515,000 square feet and will grow from 120 to 206 patient beds. This will include 30 intensive care unit beds. Currently, the ICU has five beds.

Phase one, which began in 2007, included a new medical office building, parking deck, a 17,000-square-foot lobby, an additional caesarean-section room and operating suite, 10 additional emergency-department rooms and aesthetic renovations.

Phase two began in 2010 and includes two additional operating suites and a patient tower that will house 206 beds, a 240-seat cafeteria, a dialysis center, outpatient testing and 54 pre- and post-operating beds. It also will house administrative departments including nursing, quality care and case management.

The second phase will also add a new wing for the maternity department, which includes six new labor delivery post-partum rooms, a newborn-observation room and a neonatal intensive care unit.

The maternity department delivered 2,500 babies in 2010, according to Chris Hummer, president of CMC-Pineville since 2007. Since the department opened in 1989, he said, the department has delivered 35,000 babies.

The new wing of the maternity department officially opened March 14.

Ansley Stone, nurse manager with the maternity department, has been at CMC-Pineville for 17 years.

"From a technology standpoint, our former location was built in the late 1980s, and we only had one computer and just recently added another," said Stone. "Now that we've gone to all-computerized charting, everything is state-of-the-art as far as charting and communicating with other departments in the hospital."

The newborn-observation room will accommodate 36 babies; the older room held only 16. The new room also will include a private area for circumcisions.

Tamara Dowless, nurse manager for the neonatal intensive care unit, said the unit has expanded from 1,000 to 6,700 square feet. The unit's focus, she said, is on developmental care for premature infants, and the new unit's individualized care will allow for better patient recovery.

"Premature babies have so many milestones to reach before they can go home," said Dowless. "In the environment we were previously in, there was no control of the noise, the light or a whole lot of privacy for mom. Here, the environment is serene, with natural light and noise control, all while we are right here as a safety net."

In the new NICU, each baby will have an individual room complete with a pull-out bed for parents to stay overnight. The unit will include a laundry area, private refrigerator for parents, a lounge with couches, a television and a resource center.

"When a parent has a premature baby, they hear all these terms they've never heard before," said Dowless. "The resource center will allow them do research and find the information they need."

Hummer said patient care will be the No. 1 priority during the hospital's growth.

"Five years ago, what concerned me the most was if we were going to get the resources and approval for this facility to reach the needs of south Charlotte," he said. "What worries me more today is the need to pay attention to how we take care of patients. Growth can have a negative impact on patient care, but this is our fifth year of renovations and we've only gotten stronger.

"If we continue to pay attention we'll be fine, but (patient care) is not something we are taking for granted."

Hummer said the expansion came at the right time for south Charlotte.

"Clearly the area has grown tremendously, requiring us to provide more services and space," said Hummer. "It comes to a point where our staff can only do so much with the tools and resources they're given."

Hummer also said even though there's a lot going on outside the building, it's what happens inside that counts.

"We needed better spaces to accommodate our market," said Hummer. "It doesn't make sense for everyone to travel to the center city for care when we can provide quality care in their own neighborhood."

Do you have a news story for South Charlotte News? E-mail Jessica Milicevic at

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