Lonesome Pine Hospital Increases Number Of Beds, Opens New Nursery In Expansion Of The Birthing Inn

Lonesome Pine Hospital has responded to an increasing need for obstetrics services with an expansion of The Birthing Inn that provides additional comfort to patients, family members and caregivers.

The hospital has added two birthing rooms, opened a new nursery and doubled the size of the nurses station. The modifications also included the addition of a system at the nurses station that enables staff and physicians to constantly monitor elements of the birth such as the fetal heart rate and frequency of a woman's contractions.

All other rooms were given a fresh coat of paint, and hallway floors were replaced.

"This renovation created an even warmer home-like atmosphere for the women we are privileged to serve," said Della Price, The Birthing Inn's director. "The additional space has not only enabled us to accommodate the greater use of our services but given us the ability to more efficiently deliver our high-quality care. We are thrilled to provide such a high-caliber unit to the community."

The additional space has already come in handy for the unit and Drs. Michael Ketcham and Jodi Turano, osteopathic physicians and obstetricians and gynecologists with Wellmont Medical Associates Women's Health. They were busy on Tuesday, Jan. 21, helping christen the larger unit by delivering two boys and two girls.

"The birth of a child is such a wonderful moment in a woman's life, and we want to make this experience as memorable as possible," Dr. Turano said. "By renovating this unit, our hospital is enhancing the compassionate care we provide our patients every day. We have a lot more room to perform our clinical duties, and our patients and their families can celebrate this special time in their lives in an updated facility."

The expansion occurred by incorporating the former outpatient surgery area into The Birthing Inn. This provided an opportunity to relocate the nursery from the front of the unit to a new room near the nurses station. Not only did that double the nursery's size, it increased patient safety.

The new monitoring system at the nurses station, called Centricity, has boosted care by allowing caregivers to observe vital signs, contraction frequency and the fetal heart rate and how it is responding to the labor process when they are not in the patient's room. Best of all, Drs. Ketcham and Turano can log into the system from their home or office and direct nurses on appropriate care prior to their arrival at Lonesome Pine.

With the addition of two birthing rooms, the unit now has nine patient rooms, including five birthing rooms.

"Dr. Turano and I enjoy helping our patients in Southwest Virginia and are grateful so many have entrusted their care to us," Dr. Ketcham said. "We are pleased the hospital has made this investment in The Birthing Inn because it is keeping the quality of care at an exceptional level while increasing patient satisfaction. The unit looks fantastic."

Funding for the expansion came from the Lonesome Pine Hospital Community Fund, Wellmont Foundation and Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Wellmont is the affiliate of Children's Miracle Network in Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.

All money raised locally for Children's Miracle Network stays in the area to benefit children's health. Wellmont uses proceeds to purchase equipment for its pediatric departments, neonatal intensive care unit and emergency departments and to fund community partnerships that advance children's health.

In addition to providing an excellent setting for deliveries, The Birthing Inn is focused on helping women prepare for a child's arrival with free childbirth and breastfeeding classes every three months. They are taught by a certified childbirth educator and a certified lactation consultant.

The next childbirth class will be held Feb. 22 from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and will include snacks and lunch. The next breastfeeding class will be held Feb. 27 from 6-8 p.m. Both classes will held at Lonesome Pine.

"We are proud of our physicians, nurses and department leaders who are committed to providing their patients with a broad spectrum of care," said Fred Pelle, Lonesome Pine's interim president. "We are also thankful to the community for choosing our hospital and showing confidence in our caregivers. We are honored to serve Wise County and other parts of Southwest Virginia."

For more information, please call The Birthing Inn at 276-523-3111 or visit www.wellmont.org.