The Champlain Local Health Integration Network is supporting a plan to build a state-of-the-art facility providing care to high-risk mothers and premature newborns in Ottawa.
The Champlain Maternal Newborn Regional Program said the maternal newborn centre will consolidate high-risk births and neo-natal care.
As part of the plan, current programs at The Ottawa Hospital's Civic and General Campus and the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario will be amalgamated into one and run out of a new site next to CHEO.
Right now, severely ill newborns are transferred to CHEO. But Marie-Josee Trepanier, the interim head of the program, said housing mothers and premature newborns under the same roof is vital for early bonding.
"The health outcomes for their newborns will improve. Hospital stays are actually reduced and it significantly reduces overall costs," said Trepanier.
Rooms to mimic circadian rhythm
The new centre will also be designed based on new research that babies need a quieter, dimly lit room, one that better mimics their circadian rhythms, she said.
The proposed multi-million-dollar centre still requires the financial approval of the Ontario Ministry of Health, and it will likely be a few months before the ministry's response is known.
Trepanier said Ottawa's current facilities are aging and the centre is needed in the city.
"There's some urgency in getting the newborn maternal centre in Ottawa," said Trepanier, who is hopeful the province will approve the plan.
"I think this is exciting for residents," she said.