Renovation of Level 7 JPP will add 23 new maternal health beds

June 6, 2024

Over 3,000 babies are born each year at UI Health Care’s university campus, and that number continues to grow as access to maternal health care services across the state becomes more constrained.  

UI Health Care provider Andrea Greiner, MD meets with a patient

To improve patient access to maternal health services on university campus, UI Health Care is planning a 30,000 square-foot renovation of level 7 of the John Pappajohn Pavilion (JPP), pending approval of the project budget by the Iowa Board of Regents. The proposed renovation, which is part of the university facilities master plan announced several years ago, will increase the number of inpatient beds for antepartum and postpartum care from 38 to 61.  

“The number of babies born at UI Health Care’s university campus has grown dramatically in recent years. We have been exploring multiple options to meet this demand, taking into account the additional capacity of our downtown campus, which provides excellent maternity services for low-risk pregnancies in a convenient community setting,” says Denise Jamieson MD, MPH, UI vice president for medical affairs and the Tyrone D. Artz Dean of the Carver College of Medicine. “Even with downtown campus as an added resource, we still need to increase capacity on university campus. We appreciate everyone involved in the planning process, and we are pleased to move forward with a plan that will increase maternal health care bed capacity while maintaining operational efficiency and the highest quality care.”  

The Level 7 JPP renovation will begin late summer. In addition to increasing antepartum and postpartum bed capacity, UI Health Care is also planning to expand labor and delivery capacity in the next few years.

Building solutions for today and tomorrow  

UI Health Care is taking a multi-faceted approach to addressing the need for better access to maternal health care across the state. Increasing antepartum and postpartum care capacity on university campus, as well as labor and delivery access, is one part of meeting this need, in addition to providing outreach and training programs in rural communities.

“The expansion plan for UI Health Care’s obstetrics services is just one example of how the future is bright for the OB/GYN department,” says Christian Pettker, MD, incoming chair and department executive officer of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the UI Carver College of Medicine. “While the challenges facing maternal health care delivery are great, the solutions this team has developed to date are impressive. The department is playing an important role in improving maternal health outcomes in Iowa and across the nation."

Increasing access across UI Health Care

The Level 7 JPP renovation is one of many construction projects currently underway or kicking off this summer on university campus. Renovations and expansions are also happening in the burn unit, emergency department, neurology clinic, and neonatal intensive care unit.


“The expansion of maternity health services on university campus is just one piece of a broader plan to increase access as an integrated health system that serves the entire state,” says Jamieson. “It’s about continuing to provide all Iowans with access to outstanding clinical care.”