North San Antonio Edition - June 2022


‘The nest’ by the numbers Baptist Health System ocials said North Central Baptist Hospital has become a destination hospital in San Antonio’s far North Side, especially for expectant mothers seeking comprehensive care throughout their pregnancy.

89,000 patients The number

15,000 babies The number

4,200 babies The number of babies that NCBH delivered in 2020. NCBH delivers an average of 430 babies monthly.

2.68 days The average number of

of patients NCBH sees each year hospital-wide, including inpatient admissions and outpatient visits.

of babies that NCBH sta has delivered since the hospital’s women’s services

days a mom who has just delivered a baby stays at NCBH. This includes vaginal births and cesarean sections.

area opened in January 2019.

Registered nurse Angie Faber prepares Jessica Jackson, 32, to give birth in the women’s services area at North Central Baptist Hospital on June 9.



More people, more patients North Central Baptist Hospital serves San Antonio and the surrounding communities. Population growth citywide—and especially in north side ZIP codes around the Stone Oak hospital—is largely behind BHS’ eorts to expand and improve women’s services at NCBH.

the number of deaths per 1,000 live births, has remained about the same, at about 5.5 between 2018-19, accord- ing to the 2020 Healthy Texas Mothers and Babies Data Book. Texas’ infant mortality rate was slightly lower than the nationwide number during the same time frame; the U.S. infant mortality rate was 5.7 in 2018 and 2019, and 5.6 in 2020. “Along with the enhancements, we’ve looked at the equipment that we might need for higher-risk patients, and [we’re] making sure we’ve got the right equipment in place for our trans- port unit. We’re expanding monitoring capabilities in our ICU and [emergency rooms]. That helps us to have a multi- disciplinary approach with more criti- cal patients,” Wheeler said. Caring for mothers Representatives with North Central Baptist Hospital also said unveiling the expanded, improved “nest” gives more visibility to other on-site services avail- able to expecting mothers. One such service available at NCBH and St. Luke’s Baptist Hospital is the Concierge Navigator Program, also called Great Expectations. In the program, registered nurses extend support for expectant mothers throughout their pregnancy, including helping with registration, scheduling classes or facilitating NICU consulta- tions and connecting them with a spe- cialist provider, if necessary. “It tends to cause our patients to have more condence about the entire process once they walk in. They know what to expect,” Wheeler said. Kris Baxter, a 10-year perinatal nav- igator at NCBH, called the renovations “refreshing.” She also said she partic- ularly looks forward to capitalizing on the new wireless monitoring capabil- ities, updated equipment to care for higher acuity patients and the addition

By ZIP code

San Antonio metro by age

Median age



Median age


1.33 M

2010 2020 2022*


50K 40K 30K 10K 20K









come back, and everyone’s recovering in the same location,” Wheeler said. The expansion project has also enabled NCBH to increase its number of rooms from six to 10 for antepar- tum care or where especially high-risk patients receive care long before their projected delivery time frame. Wheeler said NCBH having a Level IV NICU and a maternal transport team is helpful in extending comprehensive, critical care for mothers and newborns, especially high-risk patients. Level IV is the highest level of inten- sive care available for newborns; only 22 Texas facilities have that designa- tion, according to the Texas Depart- ment of State Health Services. Wheeler added the improvements at North Central Baptist’s “nest” allow her and her colleagues to have all the space and equipment needed to provide pre- natal care for patients who might have a pre-existing condition that could aect their baby, including diabetes, hypertension or a history of smoking, drinking or consuming opiates. Wheeler acknowledged that com- prehensive, accessible prenatal care is critical given local health care system’s eorts to reduce the risks of infant mor- tality and increase positive outcomes. The Texas infant mortality rate, or SOURCES: U.S. CENSUS BUREAU, 2020 AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY 5YEAR ESTIMATES, U.S. CENSUS BUREAU, AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY OFFICECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER







driving improvements in women’s ser- vices areas. According to data provided by Natalie Gutierrez, BHS communica- tions and public relations manager, North Central Baptist Hospital alone delivered more than 4,200 babies in 2020 and now expects an average of 430 baby deliveries a month. Gutierrez said San Antonio’s North Side—and much of the city—is expe- riencing a “baby boom” mainly because of two factors. One is that Texas remains a top state for domestic migration, recording a net population increase of about 4,000 people weekly from other states, Gutierrez said. The second contributing factor is that the population segment of people ages 20-44 is the largest age group in Stone Oak, and the age group most commonly associated with having children. Data from the 2020 U.S. Census shows the population in ZIP code 78258—home to NCBH—rose from 40,586 in 2010 to 47,146 by 2020. The median age in the same ZIP code is 36.9, according to the census. “Millennials now make up the larg- est generation in the U.S. and Stone Oak. In recent months, there has been an upswing in marriages, babies and

home purchases for individuals in this age range, pointing to a shift in con- sumer behaviors away from the lower rates experienced early on in the pan- demic,” Gutierrez said. Upgraded rooms, technology According to Mandi Wheeler, asso- ciate chief nursing ocer at NCBH, the expansion project began as a mission to update aesthetics in and around the labor and delivery rooms; raise the number of labor/delivery rooms from 16 to 22; and add two operating room suites dedicated to robot-assisted gynecological surgery. Salgado said each of the two new operating rooms will be equipped with a DaVinci surgical robot that is programmed to provide women with hysterectomies and other minimally invasive gynecological procedures. Wheeler said, in the grand scheme of things, the goal has evolved to NCBH providing a “one-stop shop” in wom- en’s obstetrics and gynecological care. “It allows us to do those gyneco- logical procedures here on the oor. Women check in at the same place where our obstetrics registration is. It allows more exibility for our obste- tricians to care for a patient in labor on our oor, go do gynecological surgery,



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