Women & Infants Hospital, a Brown Medical School teaching hospital, is committed to improving the health and well being of women and infants, and to providing our essential services regardless of ability to pay.
Founded in 1884 as the Providence Lying-In Hospital, the hospital's initial purpose was very limited. Providence Lying-In, located at the General James Estate on Slocum Street in Providence, was exclusively a maternity hospital where women could safely deliver their babies. Two years later, we relocated to the corner of State and Field Streets, eventually outgrowing the building.
In 1926 we moved to a new facility at 50 Maude Street which was to be our home for the next 60 years. The Maude Street hospital was expanded, extensively renovated and modernized over the years to keep pace with the increasing and changing patient needs and new medical technology.
With these developments came a new name that more accurately reflected our broadened services for women and newborns - we became Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, with far-reaching responsibilities to a population of 1.5 million. In the late 1970s, it was clear that our future process required additional physical expansion and program developments. As a result, we affiliated with Rhode Island Hospital and, in 1986, relocated to an entirely new Women & Infants' facility on Dudley Street in Providence.
Today, Women & Infants is one of the premier health care facilities for women in the country. As the largest obstetrical facility in the state, the second largest in New England, and the eighth largest stand-alone obstetrical service in the country, Women & Infants each year delivers nearly 8,400 babies and cares for 1,200 newborns in our Special Care Nursery - the only newborn intensive care unit in the region. Our gynecologic and general surgical program, with a volume of more than 7,500 procedures a year, now provides a comprehensive array of services to meet the needs of women throughout their lifespan.
From our main hospital building and a number of convenient satellite facilities nearby, we now provide women and their families with the most sophisticated services in infertility treatment, breast care, gynecologic cancer, urinary incontinence and prenatal diagnosis. We have also maintained our firm commitment to preventive health care, offering educational programs and a wide range of medical, nutritional and support services through our Women's Primary Care Center and our outreach sites in East Greenwich, South Kingstown, Woonsocket, Swansea, MA and North Attleboro, MA.
Women & Infants is also committed to medical education and research. We are the primary affiliate in obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics for the Brown Medical School, and we maintain teaching relationships with numerous nursing and professional schools. Our research efforts have earned national recognition and support. Most notably, the hospital has been involved in pioneering a newborn hearing screening test, improving detection of Down Syndrome through the AFP test and studying the impact of diabetes in pregnancy.
We are proud of our reputation as southeastern New England's regional center for the care of women and infants, and we will continue to build on those services that improve the health of our region's women, provide for safe, family-centered childbirth and assure infants the opportunity for normal growth and development. In all of these, we are committed to ever-increasing excellence. A complete history of Women & Infants, "For Generations of Miracles," is available through the lending libraries of our Centers for Health Education.