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Facilities around North Mississippi enhanced, expanded

Women’s center expansions a healthcare trend in region

To accommodate a growing number of family additions in the region, some North Mississippi hospitals are making construction additions of their own.
North Mississippi Medical Center has been busy with expansions and renovations at its Women’s Hospital in Tupelo and with construction of its new Women’s Pavilion in West Point.

Earlier this summer, the Women’s Hospital in Tupelo opened 12 new labor and delivery rooms as part of a multi-phase renovation project to the facility, which was built in 1986. A new entrance, lobby and admissions area were also completed, according to hospital officials. When phase one is fully completed later this year, the hospital will have a total of 16 labor and delivery rooms and eight observation beds, as well as a new gift shop and new public areas.

Ellen Friloux, Women’s Hospital administrator, said that phase two is in the final planning stages and that the hospital hopes to begin these renovations/expansions later this fall. Phase two will increase the size of the nursery and the number of neonatal intensive care beds.

The third and final phase calls for the expansion of surgery and the reconfiguration of existing space to improve patient service. Completion of the final phase is projected by late 2006.

On average, the Women’s Hospital has about 2,400 to 2,500 deliveries each year, according to Friloux, and the need for more space was a motivating factor for the initial project phases.

Another goal was to make the labor and delivery room environment more home-like in its design and comfort. Among other amenities, rooms feature built-in wood cabinets, an armoire, a loveseat, a recliner and a quilt. Flooring and lighting are also less institutional in style.

NMMC vice president Bruce Ridgway also noted that five parking lots were added at the Women’s Hospital, allowing about 80 additional parking spaces. The expansion also allowed for distinction of service areas and public areas and Ridgway states that security is state-of-the-art.

At North Mississippi Medical Center-West Point, a new Women’s Pavilion that will house maternity and gynecological surgery services is scheduled to open later this fall. The Women’s Pavilion will add 9,360 square feet to the existing hospital and the number of labor-delivery-recovery rooms will increase from two in the current maternity area to four in the new pavilion.

The project also includes four observation rooms, six postpartum rooms and a newborn nursery. A separate parking area, nursing station and waiting area are also being constructed.

Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union County opened its newly renovated Women’s Center in July.
According to Nancy Kidd, director of marketing/physician relations, the Women’s Center features five delivery suites where new mothers can labor, deliver and recover in the same place. All five rooms are furnished with adjustable birthing beds, couches and glider rocking chairs, as well as infant warmers and other equipment for newborns.
Additionally, the center has two surgical suites for Caesarean sections, a level I nursery and a 16-bed postpartum unit.

The rooms are geared for patient and family comfort, according to Kidd, and new mothers may make decisions about their hospital stay including how many people they want in the room during labor, what time to allow visitors in their room and how long their newborns can stay in the room with them. Quilted wall hangings made by a retired nurse create a home-style touch and DVD and CD players are built into the room. Baptist Union County typically delivers about 800 babies each year and has added two new obstetrician/gynecologists recently, making the renovated Women’s Center a welcomed attribute to the overall facility.

“We worked closely with the medical staff and employees and we conducted focus groups to determine factors that are important to our patients,” Kidd said in reference to Women’s Center features and amenities.

The near $500,000 project is one of several recent expansion and renovation initiatives undertaken by Baptist Union County recently.

Contact MBJ contributing writer Karen Kahler Holliday at mbj@msbusiness.com.

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