It’ll be another month before any babies start arriving at Patewood Memorial Hospital, but the community got a sneak peek of the facility’s new maternity unit Thursday.
The additional space was needed because Greenville Memorial Hospital is simply out of room for delivering babies, said Dr. Donald W. Wiper III, medical director of Greenville Health System’s Women’s Hospital. This becomes the seventh maternity unit in the hospital system, he said.
“The brand-new facility is fully equipped to provide great comfort in spacious new rooms,” he said, “as well as all the medical technology, equipment and staff expertise to assure a joyous and safe delivery.”
Spanning 26,000 square feet on the hospital’s fourth floor, the maternity unit features 10 large labor-and-delivery rooms, recovery room, 30 postpartum rooms, an operating room, and a nursery. With lots of natural light and a neutral color palette, it’s a calming environment for new mothers and their babies.
Rooms also have tubs for water therapy during labor, which could also be used for water births once qualified providers are on staff.
The cost of the unit was not disclosed.
About six to eight babies are expected to be born at the hospital a day, said Terri Negron, director of nursing for GHS’s Women’s Hospital and interim chief nursing officer for Patewood.
“Being part of a family’s birth experience is a special opportunity,” she said, “and one that none of us take lightly.”
Staffed round the clock by pediatric hospitalists trained in neonatology and newborn care, it also has a telemedicine program that will link the neonatologists at Greenville Memorial with Patewood when needed. Lactation consultants and other support staff also will be on hand.
Obstetricians from Piedmont OB/GYN and Greenville OB/GYN Associates will deliver babies at Patewood.
Dr. Rebecca Wright, medical director of newborn services at Patewood Memorial Hospital, said the physicians are ready to go to work in the new facility.
“It is a big decision to entrust someone with your birth experience and the health of your baby,” she said. “We take that responsibility seriously.”
Up to now, Patewood has been a surgical short-stay hospital on Greenville’s Eastside, said Tim Brookshire, interim chief operating officer for Patewood. With maternity services at Patewood, having a baby will be more convenient for families on the Eastside, he said.
“This is an exciting chapter in Patewood’s history,” he said.
GHS also has maternity units at Greenville Memorial, Greer Memorial, Laurens County Memorial, Oconee Memorial and Baptist Easley as well as Greenville Midwifery Care Birth Center.
The new unit will open to women with low-risk pregnancies on Sept. 25.