A new day for moms and babies




Liz's Tower blog full size 2021.09.10

Welcoming a child into the world should be a joyful moment. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, especially in Indiana: Our state has a troubling history of high infant and maternal mortality rates.


This month, Riley Children’s Health celebrated a major milestone in its commitment to reverse that trend: the September 8 ribbon cutting for the new Riley Maternity Tower.


Located in a peaceful and inviting space within Riley Hospital for Children in downtown Indianapolis, the Riley Maternity Tower will bring together inpatient childbirth and newborn care under one roof. It is designed to accommodate everything from low-risk, healthy births to the most complex pregnancies that require a team of highly skilled specialists. The Tower will accept its first patients later this fall.


A Comprehensive Approach, Supported By Donors


Of course, a new facility is only part of the solution.


The Tower is the centerpiece of Riley’s broader Maternity and Newborn Health program, which I am proud to say Riley Children’s Foundation – and our generous donors – have helped make a reality. In the past six years, Riley Children’s Foundation has provided $25 million to this initiative. The funds have been used to hire new specialists, open a Fetal Center to care for complicated and high‐risk pregnancies, and begin building a network to support moms and babies statewide.


Those funds came from thousands of individuals and groups. They include dollars raised at community events, donated online, and gifted by participants in our Riley Society donor recognition society. The Indiana District of Kiwanis, which has supported Riley for the past century, has generously committed $1 million to this important work.


Investing in the Future


While the opening of the Riley Maternity Tower is a major step forward, our work does not end there. Our goal is to raise an additional $3.825 million by June 30, 2022, to support the continued growth and success of the Maternity and Newborn Health programs.


These funds will support:


•    The addition of adult intensive care specialists at Riley to provide the highest level of care to the sickest moms with the most complex medical issues.
•    Recruitment of a fetal surgeon and maternal fetal medicine specialist trained in fetal interventions. These procedures are conducted in utero to correct certain disabling and life-threatening birth defects. No health system in Indiana currently offers this level of care.
•    On‐site simulations for neonatal units and maternity centers statewide. This training, taught by Riley experts, focuses on high‐risk scenarios that smaller hospitals may not typically experience due to lower patient volumes. It ensures hospitals of all levels and sizes are prepared to care for expectant mothers and newborns during life‐threatening emergencies.


How You Can Help


I invite you to learn more about how these urgent initiatives will continue to improve Indiana’s infant and maternal mortality rate, and how you may contribute to leading-edge care for moms and babies through your personal philanthropy.


Gifts of all sizes are important and appreciated.


Together, we can ensure many more Hoosier families will be blessed with safe deliveries, and that the birth of a baby truly is a cause for joy and celebration.


To learn more about how you may support Riley Maternity and Newborn Health programs, please contact my colleague Pamela Fairchild Clark at PFairchild-Clark@Rileykids.org or 317.759.6959.  


Liz Elkas, President and CEO, Riley Children's Foundation

I am an advocate for children and the President and CEO of Riley Children's Foundation.


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