The Meaning of Care Magazine

Women and Newborns Unit to Enhance Birth Experiences at Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital

Published: Nov. 25, 2020

Dozens of measures have been taken to ensure the safety of patients, staff and visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these precautions have evolved as more information emerges on how the virus is spread. Funding for these measures, which include personal protective equipment and COVID-19 testing, has come from federal aid, Methodist Health System, Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital and Jennie Edmundson Foundation.

Most recently, federal funds were used to purchase a Giraffe OmniBed Carestation for the Methodist Jennie Edmundson Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

According to Ashley Nihsen, MSN, RNC-OB, director of the Women and Newborns unit, the Carestation provides a controlled and protected environment for the transportation and contact-limited care of newborns with COVID-positive mothers.

“If we have a COVID-positive mom, we have to assume their newborn will be positive until we are able to prove otherwise,” Nihsen said. “The Carestation will allow us to care for our newborns of COVID-positive moms, especially those who need oxygen supplementation.”

Additionally, a Stand-alone Infant Resuscitation (STAR) System for the Carestation was purchased with funds from the Foundation.

“Besides the continued financial support of Jennie Edmundson’s adult patients and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, the STAR system is a great example of how our donors’ generosity will benefit even the smallest patients well beyond the current crisis,” said Tara Slevin, vice president and chief philanthropy officer for Jennie Edmundson Foundation.

A rendering of a patient room on the new Women and Newborns unit.

Slevin said the Carestation and enhanced COVID-19 precautions are among the features of the newly renovated Women and Newborns unit at Methodist Jennie Edmundson.

“The improvement project represents a significant investment in women’s services by Methodist Health System, Methodist Physicians Clinic, Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital and the Foundation,” Slevin said.

Jennie Edmundson Foundation is currently conducting a $1 million campaign to fund technological improvements and equipment and patient-care needs for the unit.

“We want to offer the best, safest care in the region,” Slevin said. “We have prioritized all facets of women’s health, and this premier facility will be the result.”

The unit will feature expanded services and centralized care, including:

  • Six labor rooms
  • 12 postpartum/GYN rooms
  • A triage room
  • Four Level II NICU bays
  • Ventilator support for newborns in respiratory distress
  • A cesarean delivery (C-section) suite

The unit will also provide staff with a better clinical workflow. It will have cardiac monitoring for postoperative C-section patients and central monitoring for newborns in the Level II NICU. The renovations will enhance the patient experience with the following features:

  • A Safe Place security system for newborns
  • Portable fetal monitoring while patients are in labor
  • Three Jacuzzi tubs for laboring moms
  • A conference room for childbirth education

“We are supporting our new moms and their families in their journey to parenthood,” Nihsen said. “We want to give families the birth story they dream of.”

To learn how you can donate to the Women and Newborns unit, visit the online donation page at


Pictured above: OB/GYN Dr. Norman Ferrer with Ashley Nihsen, Methodist Jennie Edmundson Women and Newborns unit director. Photo by Daniel Johnson.

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About the Author

The Meaning of Care Magazine is published by Nebraska Methodist Health System. Featuring interviews with care providers and first-person stories of patients touched by our services, it is produced entirely by Methodist Marketing Department staff.

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