Community News

Long Island Jewish Medical Center Opens Jane’s Room

The Katz Women’s Hospital at Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Medical Center today announced the dedication of Jane’s Room, a space devoted for families experiencing infant loss.

The suite was made possible through a generous gift from Bob and Berkley Wellstein, who founded the Illinois-based Jane’s Room after the couple lost their baby due to a stillbirth in 2012. The not-for-profit chose to open its 14th iteration of Jane’s Room at LIJ, which marks the first in New York State. Jane’s Room collaborates with hospitals nationwide to create private rooms where families can grieve after the loss of a newborn.

“After the loss of our baby girl, Bob and I knew we wanted to keep Jane’s memory alive and to make a difference for parents and families finding themselves in a situation similar to ours,” said Mrs. Wellstein, who attended the ribbon cutting event. “Jane’s Room came to life out of our deep grief and we are honored to provide rooms of respite in hospitals, including at the Katz Women’s Hospital at LIJ, where families can gather and find a way forward together.”

Jane’s Room at Katz Women’s Hospital is an approximately 500-square-foot hotel-like suite equipped with a private bathroom. LIJ is a member of Northwell Health, which is the largest health system in New York State. Northwell accounts for 1 percent of all births in the United States annually.

“My wife and I suffered from repetitive first trimester losses before we received our gift, so I know firsthand how devastating pregnancy loss is for a couple,” said Michael Nimaroff, MD, senior vice president and executive director of OB-GYN Services at Northwell. “Fetal loss after 20 weeks and even into the third trimester is a catastrophe for a couple and their family. The gift of Jane’s Room is so special and important to our mission of supporting the family unit during these difficult times,”

Pregnancy loss accounts for 20 percent of all pregnancies in the first trimester nationally. About 1 percent experienced infant loss in the second or third trimester. Katz Women’s Hospital has treated nearly 92,000 maternal patients since it opened in 2012. The new Katz space was created through Jane’s Room’s “Rooms of Respite Project.”

“The patient experience is always at the forefront of what we do, and while we have places for patients, visitors and staff to deal with grief, the emotions associated with the loss of a child are uniquely painful,” said Maureen Early, RN, senior director, patient and customer experience at LIJ. “This suite is specifically tailored for those individuals to have the personal space they need. I’m grateful to the Wellsteins for their thoughtful and purposeful generosity.”

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