DesignGroup leads the transformation of Washington Hospital’s Obstetrics Unit

The CARE Center for Family Birth and Women’s Health offers family-centered care rooted in trust and comfort

PITTSBURGH – DesignGroup   working closely with hospital staff, patients and community members   led a 22,000 square foot renovation of the labor and delivery and postpartum wings at Washington Hospital, a part of Washington Health System in Washington, Pennsylvania. The renovations to the CARE Center for Family Birth and Women’s Health transformed the environment of care for a unit that hadn’t been remodeled in more than 20 years.

“This renovation helps align the patient and staff environment with the innovative medical care offered by the hospital,” said Tom Chidlow, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, principal and project manager at DesignGroup’s Pittsburgh office. “The new unit design brings together the primary goals of the team to provide outstanding quality of care, safety and security and an inviting interior environment that is supportive of patients, family and staff alike.”

Washington Health OB Lobby

The project included the upgrade of the existing Level 1 well-newborn nursery and integration of a new Level 2 continuing care nursery, which allows mothers and babies who need additional care to stay in the same facility. Improvements to the labor and delivery area included upgrades to patient and staff flow with the reconfiguration of triage and staff program areas, along with improvements to the patient care rooms to support the quality services provided by staff.

The postpartum wing included improvements to 13 patient care rooms, including enlarging seven rooms to better accommodate families and to allow each new mother access to a spacious bathroom and added amenities. Each room includes a separate nook where family and visitors can gather, complete with dining areas and comfortable furniture to extend their visit. A dedicated family pantry serves families during their visit to the unit.

Patient room

The design also brought two teams of staff together through one enlarged, collaborative nurse station at the focus of the path of travel, which enhances wayfinding for visitors and family members as they move through the space.

The transformation of the unit was the result of a carefully planned collaboration between the design team and the care team, administration, facilities staff and family advisory members.

About DesignGroup

Founded in 1972, DesignGroup is an AIA Ohio Gold Medal architecture and design firm with offices in Columbus, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The practice focuses on education, civic + cultural, library, healthcare, workplace and commercial projects. With numerous, award-winning projects located throughout the United States, DesignGroup's work is unmistakable, striking a balance of stunning contemporary architecture, thoughtful renovations, and sustainable building practices. Civic responsibility is integral to DesignGroup’s philosophy; beyond bricks and mortar, the firm is deeply involved in community organizations and its design principals are recognized as thought leaders in design. Learn more at

About Washington Health System
Employing more than 2,000+ highly trained medical professionals, Washington Health System provides health care services at more than 40 off-site locations throughout three counties. In addition, Washington Health System has diagnostic centers, outpatient care facilities, the Wilfred R. Cameron Wellness Center, Greenbriar Treatment Center, Center for Recovery and Wellness and hospice care, all seamlessly working together to provide excellent patient and family centered care.


Sara Stacy 
Blue Water Communications
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