Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City is building a $98 million four-story women's center to meet a growing need for labor and delivery and postpartum services. The hospital is part of the Chesterfield, Missouri-based Mercy system, which said it expects Love Family Women's Center to open in fall 2023.
An architect's rendering shows the Love Family Women's Center, which is under construction at Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City.
The Mercy BirthPlace, which the new center will replace, occupied the fifth and sixth floors of Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City. It was designed to handle around 3,000 births a year, Mercy said in its announcement about the new center. Nearly 4,000 babies were delivered annually there each of the last two years.
The new 175,000-square-foot center will have 73 patient rooms, 30 more than the current space.
"We want to be able to serve every pregnant mom and newborn that needs us, but the reality is that our existing facility is not designed to support our current volume of patients," Jim Gebhart, community president of Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City, said in the Mercy announcement. "We simply need more space."
The Love Family Women's Center will be on the hospital's northwest side. Its three large Caesarean-section suites will connect to the surgery suite in Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City. The proximity "allows for quick, safe access to additional services if there are any medical emergencies during delivery," Mercy's release said.
The Love Family Women's Center will have an emergency department staffed by obstetricians. A sky bridge will connect postpartum rooms on the third floor of the women's center to the hospital, where the neonatal intensive care unit is located.
Mercy said the new facility will have Oklahoma's first hospital-based low-intervention birthing unit. The unit will be run by certified nurse midwives in collaboration with obstetricians.
The Mercy Health Foundation Oklahoma City is providing 40% of the funding for the new obstetrics hospital. The Tom and Judy Love family gave a $10 million lead donation to the project. The couple are the founders of Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores.
Judy Love is co-chair of a campaign that, including her family's donation, has raised more than $30 million toward a goal of $40 million. Mercy said the fundraising campaign is the largest in its history.
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