RI Hospital & Women’s Medicine Collaborative partner to open new inpatient unit

Rhode Island Hospital & Women’s Medicine Collaborative partner to open new inpatient unit

Women-focused unit puts emphasis on treating the whole patient, offers most advanced care in comfortable setting with 14 private patient rooms

– A new 14-bed inpatient unit at Rhode Island Hospital is bringing together the advanced and comprehensive services offered by Rhode Island’s largest hospital and the individual patient-centered care provided by the Women’s Medicine Collaborative. Both are part of the Lifespan health system.

The unit, which was designed just for women, will accommodate female patients undergoing the most advanced minimally invasive treatments and techniques, including laparoscopic, vaginal and robotic technology. Women receiving care at the new unit will be treated for benign gynecologic conditions, gynecologic cancers, medical conditions that occur during pregnancy and postpartum, breast cancer surgery and reconstruction.

“We are so pleased to be able to bring this level of care to the women of our state and the region,” said Karen Rosene-Montella, M.D., Lifespan’s senior vice president for women’s services. “As a health system, we are focused on finding new and better ways to provide high-level comprehensive care that takes into account the unique needs and conditions faced by women. This new unit allows us to combine the latest and most advanced technologies offered at Rhode Island Hospital with the personalized care that is the hallmark of the Women’s Medicine Collaborative. What we’ve created, essentially, is a women’s hospital within a hospital.”

Located in Rhode Island Hospital’s Jane Brown Building, the new unit features 14 private rooms, each equipped with a private bathroom and shower, as well as a pullout sleep chair for family members. The unit also includes a procedure room, conference room and a family lounge.

According to Christina Bandera, M.D, chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals, what makes the unit unique is its location within a full-service hospital. “Being on the Rhode Island Hospital campus means we have access to medical subspecialties, ICU capabilities, a comprehensive medical service and an emergency department with the region’s only Level 1 trauma center,” she said.  

Rosene-Montella and Bandera are part of the team that will lead the inpatient unit, along with John Bert, M.D., an obstetrician-gynecologist from Ob-Gyn Associates; Scott Walker, M.D., director of gynecologic robotic surgery; and all of the Women’s Medicine Collaborative and Ob-Gyn Associates providers. Bandera is also a part of the gynecologic cancer team, which includes Anne Shapter, M.D., and a team of specialists in medical oncology, survivorship and genetics.

“We can treat any kind of gynecologic cancer,” explained Bandera. “Our team is comprised of specialists in cervical, uterine, ovarian, vaginal, vulvar and fallopian tube cancers.”

Many of the gynecologic surgeries taking place at Rhode Island Hospital will be performed using robotic surgery. What this means for patients is smaller incisions, shorter recovery time, less blood loss, fewer complications and reduced trauma for patients.

In addition to gynecologic treatments and services, the unit also will provide specialty services such as gastrointestinal, pulmonary, diagnostic imaging, neurology, cardiovascular and interventional radiology.

The unit is staffed by specialized medical-surgical nurses, all with ob-gyn experience.  The partnership with the Women’s Medicine Collaborative provides patients with post-discharge access to a broad range of outpatient support services designed exclusively for women, from primary and specialty care to cancer survivorship and massage therapy.

For more information, visit http://www.womensmedicine.org/Womens-Health-Services-at-RIH.html.