Cutting the ribbon to officially open the new Center for Maternity and Newborn Care were (lr): Christian Pettker, MD, chief, Obstetrics; Liz O'Mara, RN, patient service manager; Steven Fleischman, MD, associate chief, Ob/Gyn; Katie Donohue, RN, director, Women's Services; Cynthia Sparer, senior vice president, Operations, and executive director, Yale New Haven Children's Hospital; Hugh Taylor, MD, chief, Ob/Gyn; Michael Paidas, MD, interim chief, Maternal-Fetal Medicine; and Richard D'Aquila, YNHH president.

Yale New Haven Hospital held a ribbon-cutting Sept. 8 to celebrate the new Center for Maternity and Newborn Care on WP 8, a facility that now matches the "top-flight" staff who provide care there, said YNHH President Richard D'Aquila.

Fittingly, it took nine months to complete the new unit. Hugh Taylor, MD, chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology, YNHH, noted that it is the place where parents bond with their newborns, children meet their new siblings and other loved ones come to visit the newest family members.

"A lot of first impressions are made on this unit," he told the crowd at the ribbon-cutting. "I'm beaming today at how beautiful this is."

A team of medical, nursing, ancillary and support services leaders and staff collaborated with architects and builders in planning the new unit, which was designed with a focus on clinical excellence and family-centered care. It includes all single rooms that allow infants to comfortably room in with their parents, a home-like décor with artistic touches and a layout that promotes quiet, with the unit entrance and clinical staff areas positioned to minimize disruption to patients. Breastfeeding resources, A Mother's Place boutique and other services are easily accessible on the same floor.

The new Center for Maternity and Newborn Care is the first phase of the major First for the Future project that will create a new home for Neonatal Intensive Care and Obstetrical Services at Yale New Haven Children's Hospital. The project also includes floors 4, 10 and 11 of the York Street Campus West Pavilion.

A First for the Future fundraising campaign to support the project is under way. To learn about donating, visit, call 203- 688-4035 or email michelle.d'[email protected].