Community Health Network

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Community Maternity Services

History of maternity services at Community

For release: 11/21/2007

Indianapolis, IN---Community Hospital North opened on the north side of Indianapolis in 1985, at a time when Community Health Network leadership envisioned it as a satellite hospital to its east side anchor hospital. In its humble beginnings, Community North lacked certain services, including obstetrics (OB). Two years after opening, the hospital realized the need for OB services, as well as the growth in the area, and opened a maternity ward. Today, the Castleton-based hospital has transformed its facility during an expansion project in 2007 that created the largest maternity unit of its kind in the country.

As Community North celebrates its evolution and marks 20 years of OB services for women, employees also reflect on the hospital’s additional services for women and children. The hospital is proud to now have a high-tech neonatal intensive care unit with all private rooms that features noise and light controls for the smallest and sickest babies. The hospital also has a well-established maternal-fetal medicine program.

“We have seen amazing technical advances in the fields of obstetrics and neonatology over the past 20 years, resulting in the enhanced survival of preterm infants,” said Sue Sandberg, vice president of women’s and children’s services at Community North. “Our highly-skilled physicians and nurses have compassion, along with access to the latest research. In addition, we’ve been able to create an environment conducive to supporting families by listening to the new moms and dads we serve.”

Here are some historical facts of note about the evolution of Community Hospital North:

  • The hospital opened in 1985 with 100 medical-surgical beds and 125 behavioral health beds (there were no OB beds).
  • For the first year, the hospital averaged nearly two calls per day from consumers asking for maternity services.
  • In the mid 1980’s, The Indiana State Department of Health was predicting a decline in birth rates in Marion County through the next ten years, while Lawrence Township (where the hospital is located) was the fastest growing township in the county.
  • As Community North experienced growing pains, two maternity unit expansions occurred in 1994 and 1998.
  • Since 1986, the number of obstetricians at Community North has doubled from 11 to more than 22; a full-time perinatologist was added to the staff in 2005

Today, Community North’s OB services are located in a six-story patient tower, built during the hospital’s $170-million expansion project and completed in April 2007. The tower houses pediatrics, maternity and neonatal intensive care. The maternity unit consists of 60 private maternity guest suites, the largest of its kind in the country. The tower also houses 48 acute care medical surgical suites.

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