Jackson to offer 'VIP treatment' to new mothers

Hospital is looking to gain patients lost to competition

Erick Johnson | 7/31/2014, 4:25 p.m.

Jackson Memorial stepped up efforts to boost revenues with the birth of its new maternity suites, part of a posh, luxurious center that aims to improve the reputation of the 94-year old public institution.

The suites are part of a $6 million renovation project to modernize Jackson’s aging facilities, which are losing paying patients to newer hospitals that offer better services and rooms. Jackson hopes the upgrades will make the hospital more competitive in the growing healthcare market.

The first makeover in Jackson’s maternity ward in 40 years, hospital officials unveiled “Little Miracles Maternity Suites,” which includes 20 private rooms for new mothers and families. Officials also showcased five renovated obstetrics and gynecology operating rooms and the nation largest neonatal intensive care unit, which has 126 beds.

Community leaders and professionals officially opened the suites at a dedication ceremony on the third floor of the Holtz Children Center on Tuesday. Wine and exquisite refreshments were served to highlight the luxurious atmosphere of the center.

Hospital officials hope the VIP treatment will entice more paying guests to the center, which has a spa-like atmosphere with designer-brand soaps, lotions and bathroom amenities. Patients are also provided fruit baskets, plush bathrobes and slippers. Guests and expectant mothers can order high-end food from a special menu from their private suites. There is also a family room with plush sofas and games for kids.

The maternity suites opened on Wednesday.

“We must look good as we actually are,” said Jackson Board Chairman Daryl Sharpton. “Our goal is to attract paying patients so don’t mistake this for luxury. We’re trying to stay competitive in the healthcare market.”

“We were dressing ourselves as a third-rate hospital and we wondered why people were going elsewhere,” said Jackson Board CEO Carlos Migoya. “Today is the end of that reputation.”