Traditionally the term Riley Kid has referred to a child who receives medical care at Riley Hospital for Children. Soon, there will be many more babies who are Riley Kids.
The Indiana University Health hospital is building a new five-story, $142 million maternity tower, which will take the place of IU Health Methodist Hospital’s labor and delivery unit when it opens by the end of 2021.
The 116-bed tower will offer a host of services as varied as water births to births for pregnant women who require intensive care.
Women will enter the tower through the old entrance to the hospital, which was the main entrance before the Simon Family Tower lobby opened in 2012. That atrium still houses the façade of the original Riley Hospital for Children, built in 1924.
Glass elevators will then ferry patients and visitors to the higher floors. The design concept draws on the idea of a geode, the spherical rock with the crystal-lined cavity inside, and makes ample use of gem tones, said Krista Peak, senior project manager for Riley Hospital for Children.
“The idea is if you crack the geode open, you have this beautiful inside,” she said.
Deep mauve walls greet visitors to the fourth and fifth floors, each of which houses 20 private post-partum rooms.
The fifth floor features a celebration room, tucked under the eaves, that families can use as a gathering space. It may be used, for instance, to host baby showers for premature infants born before their mothers had a shower at home.
Another room that serves as a treatment room has a specially designed ceiling that resembles the night sky with twinkling lights and a shooting star. Circumcisions and other procedures will be done in an adjoining room.
Home to the neonatal intensive care unit, the third floor will have a softer palette of blues and yellow.
Riley Hospital for Children has a neonatal intensive care unit, which will still house patients once the maternity tower opens, said Barbara Hidde, clinical program manager for perinatal levels of care. The new tower NICU will be reserved for babies whose mothers delivered there while the existing NICU will care for infants transferred from other hospitals.
Once both are open, Riley will have the largest NICU in the state, she said.
The NICU in the tower also has been designed with multiples in mind. Two rooms are connected by glass doors.
“They can open up and be one family,” Peak said.
The NICU floor will include a Ronald McDonald Family Room, which has a small kitchenette as food will not be allowed in the NICU rooms. The lounge will have a hydro-massage table as well as a beauty bar where new mothers can have their hair done, possibly by community volunteers, Hidde said.
At about 50,000-square feet, the second floor has 13 labor rooms and 14 high risk rooms for women on bed rest until delivery. Three rooms have tubs for water births, and three intensive care unit rooms are reserved for women with serious kidney, heart or other conditions.
The second floor also has four operating rooms for women who require Caesarean sections. IU Health hopes to use one of the operating rooms for fetal surgery and is looking to recruit someone with that expertise. Currently pregnant women who require such interventions must go to Cincinnati or Chicago.
Downstairs on the first floor, a remodeled cafeteria will serve as a spot where families and staff can go around the clock to get something to eat.