Dozens of local medical professionals, business leaders and residents got a sneak peek at the Baptist Health Medical Center-Conway Women’s Center during a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour Tuesday.

The $20 million, 50,000-square-foot facility will open at 7 a.m. Thursday.

Baptist Health System President and Chief Executive Officer Troy Wells told the crowd that since the hospital had its grand opening in September, people have been asking about when the Women’s Center would be ready.

"Since then I’ve had so many people who have come to me and said: ‘Troy, this is great. We’re so happy that Baptist has built this beautiful facility in Conway, but when are you going to start delivering babies?’ That’s what everybody seemed to want to know. Well, the time has come," he said.

In addition to including all of the state-of-the-art technology the hospital offers — such as SMART beds, integrated digital signs outside patient rooms and more — the center will have laborists on hand 24/7. A laborist is a board-certified obstetrician who can evaluate the progress of an expectant mother’s labor and react to complications if they arise.

Dr. Richard Wyatt, laborist, said the laborist program is a game changer.

"It is a huge safety net for the patients," he said. "We’ve had the same program at Baptist Health-Little Rock for three and half years and we’ve had countless saves of not only babies’ lives, but mothers’ lives. It’s just a very exciting thing to have here in Conway."

The Women’s Center will also feature a Level II specialty care nursery, where the clinical team can care for babies born as early as 32 weeks who weigh more than 3.3 pounds and have moderate health issues.

The center also has two Jacuzzi tubs that are meant to ease the discomfort of the labor process. Water births will not be performed at the center, officials said.

The lobby was named in honor of local businesswoman Rhea Lana Riner after she gave the Women’s Center "a generous monetary gift," a spokesman said.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Baptist Health at 1-888-BAPTIST (227-8478) or visit