MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

August 12, 2013

EASTAR’s east hospital to become maternity center

Muskogee babies could be born at a different hospital building this fall.

EASTAR Health System is moving its maternity ward from its main campus, 300 Rockefeller Drive, to its east campus, 2900 N. Main St.

“We are going to make this into a women’s center,” EASTAR Chief Executive Officer Anthony R. Young said.

The hospital’s second floor is being remodeled into five labor/delivery/recovery rooms, plus a room for C-sections, he said. The third floor will have 12 post-partum/gynecological rooms and a nursery for newborns, he said.

The east campus maternity ward should be ready some time this fall, Young said.

“With construction, I don’t like talking in specifics,” he said. “We’re hoping sooner the better. With the modifications we’re making, we should be second to none in the country.”

Young said he hopes to add a neonatal special care unit for babies born prematurely.

“We have a neonatalogist we’re talking to, and we’re talking to a group of neonatal nurse practitioners,” he said. “It’s not provided here.

“And, while it’s not a done deal, I am very confident we can make it happen here, which will increase the level of care we can provide the mothers.”

At present, patients with high-risk pregnancies are shipped to Tulsa, Young said.

“It will be a new service for this community,” he said. “We’d call it a special care nursery.”

Hospital officials will have their first meeting about the unit Wednesday night.

“It’s more than a dream,” Young said. “I believe we’re going to be able to pull it off. Will it be available the first day we open? No.”

Young said the labor/delivery/recovery area at the main campus was aging. He said the new labor/delivery/recovery rooms will be larger than those in the current facility. The rooms could allow more people into the delivery room if the mother wants.

“We’re making it more of a a family function,” said Dr. Jonathan Baldwin, an ob/gyn at EASTAR.

Young added, “The doctor can order the family out if a problem arises.”

He said the post-partum/gynecological rooms will be on the third floor because that’s a quieter setting.

“The labor/delivery/recovery area can be loud,” he said. “For the peace, it’s nice to go to a nice fresh room. A nursery’s there if the mom wants a break or the dad wants a break. We’re going to be as flexible as we can with the mother’s birth plans.”

The maternity area is one of several renovations at EASTAR’s east campus, Young said.  The campus also is getting a comprehensive breast health center.

“We’re working with radiologists, oncologists, general surgeons, pathologists and cosmetic surgeons so we can provide screening, diagnosis and treatment in a shorter amount of time,” Young said, adding that he hopes to complete the center this fall.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogeephoenix.com.

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