Ronald Regan was in the White House nearing the end of his inaugural term in office. The median household income in the nation was $21,000. A first-class stamp sold for 20 cents. A gallon of regular gas cost $1.24, a dozen eggs 86 cents and a gallon of milk $2.24.
The 126,000-square-foot, two-story Woman’s Hospital of Acadiana specialized in obstetrics, gynecology and newborn care. It had 70 private rooms, a well-baby nursery to accommodate 45 newborns and a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that could care for 19 premature and other infants requiring specialized care. Other amenities included 3 delivery rooms, 3 operating rooms, a 10-bed recovery unit, a complete pharmacy, a complete radiology department, 10 private labor rooms, a gift shop and beauty salon.
Three years later, the hospital underwent a $1.2 million expansion project to include a 25-bed pediatric unit. In December 1986, the hospital officially changed its name to Women’s & Children’s Hospital.
Since then, the hospital grew to become the second largest birthing hospital in the state with more than 75,000 babies born at the facility and counting. An array of women’s services were added including digital mammography, ultrasonography, breast-dedicated MRI, fertility services, lactation support, and urogynecology.
Women’s & Children’s Hospital also is home to the Kids ER – a Pediatric Emergency Department staffed 24/7 by Board-Certified Pediatricians, Acadiana’s only Level III Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the region’s only Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and a women and children-dedicated Sleep Center.
December 1998 saw the arrival of Dr. Kenneth Falterman, Board-Certified Pediatric General Surgeon from New Orleans, officially launching the hospital’s full-time pediatric subspecialist program. The program moved to the Kids Specialty Center when it opened in December 2008 and grew to include endocrinology, hematology/oncology, neurology, neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, pulmonology and sleep medicine services.
In July 2009, Women’s & Children’s Hospital merged with The Regional Medical Center of Acadiana to form The Regional Health System of Acadiana, which also includes Women’s & Children’s Hospital’s Elaine M. Junca Women’s Imaging Centre.
As Women’s & Children’s Hospital moves into a new chapter of providing patient-focused healthcare to the women and children of Acadiana, work is underway to renovate postpartum and gynecological patient rooms, giving each a more home-like and serene atmosphere. Plans also are underway to grow the hematology/oncology services program and women’s services.
A history of quality, patient-focused service to Acadiana families. A future bright with new advancements in technology, surgery and other services. Women’s & Children’s Hospital is proud to have such a rich history right here in Acadiana with eyes on making the next 30 years even more special for the families we serve.