A More Family-Friendly Maternity Center

August 2004

While advances in medical science and technology usually prompt changes to hospital facilities, Union Hospital has announced a major renovation of its Maternity Center in response to the changing preferences and needs of patients and their families.

In making the announcement, William Harding, president and CEO, says the hospital?s Maternity Center has evolved with each generation of family, reflecting the trends and technology of the day.

?At one time, babies were delivered by the doctor and nurses while fathers were left pacing in the hallway,? Harding says.  ?We?ve come a long way since then, and now, Union Hospital is ready to transform our Maternity services again with exciting new features reflecting the interests of families and the first generation of babies to be born in the new millennium.?

Harding says the Maternity Center project has an estimated cost of $4.5 million and is currently in the final design stages.  Construction will begin in the months ahead and will be done in multiple phases so there will be no interruption in Maternity care for patients during the construction period.

Marsha Schrock, RN, maternity center manager, says 1,780 babies have been delivered at Union Hospital over the past two years.  And more than ever, she says families have varied needs and interests.

?Our Maternity Center will be growing in size, in capability, and in our ability to provide the birth experience each family desires,? Schrock says. 

Schrock says the new Maternity Center will offer each patient a private room and bath.  A new option will be ?rooming in?, allowing the new baby to stay with Mom as much as possible.  Dads will also be able to stay in the room and sleep overnight with the new mother and baby. 

?The option for the new mother, father, and baby to be together in the room during the hospital stay is the feature our patients have requested the most,? Schrock says.

Currently, most of the 11 maternity patient rooms are semi-private.  Schrock says the Maternity Center project will result in 17 private rooms, each with a private bath.

The Maternity Center expansion project includes addition of one new Labor, Delivery, and Recovery (LDR) suite and renovation of the existing LDRs.  This will include new furnishings and decorations, concealing the medical technology that will be available if needed during labor and delivery.  Schrock says the new Maternity Center will also include a second C-section operating room.

Schrock says another concern of patients is safety and security and the new Maternity Center will address those concerns.

?Our maternity families will be protected by sophisticated safety systems and security technologies,? Schrock says.  ?Entry and exit from the Maternity Center will be closely monitored and a new infant security system will further ensure every baby is where he or she belongs whether it?s in their mother?s arms or sleeping in our nursery.?

Harding says the medical staff has been deeply involved in the design of the Maternity Center project.  Dr. Walter Randolph, III, an obstetrician and gynecologist, believes the improvements will benefit patients in several ways.

?Private rooms will enable mom to have her baby with her in the room and offer families more privacy,? says Dr. Randolph.  ?An additional LDR, a second C-section room, and the enhanced security systems will add to the quality of care and quality of birth experience we offer to families in our community.?

With the estimated cost of the project at $4.5 million, Carey Gardner, director of development and community relations, says the hospital is seeking the support of the community.

?We?re beginning a process to seek gifts from the community, organizations, and local foundations to help make this important project possible,? Gardner says.  ?We believe out new Maternity Center is an investment in the future.  It will be a major improvement in our hospital facilities and help to give families another reason to put down roots and call this community their home.?

Gardner says the hospital annual giving campaign is focused on raising funds for the Maternity Center project.  Anybody with questions about the project or interesting in making a donation should call the development office at (330) 364-0806.



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