Uniontown Hospital is pleased to announce the opening of the renewed Family Beginnings Birthing Center (FBBC), after a multi-million dollar renovation and facelift of the center in recent months.
Recognizing the need for continued obstetrical care in the region, the hospital, which delivers more than 1,000 babies into the world each year, conducted the renovations at a time when many other obstetrical services at community hospitals have closed their doors.
“Dozens of community hospitals across the state have shuttered their OB units in recent years but we renovated,” Uniontown Hospital CEO Steve Handy said. “We saw the need in Fayette County. We want to be the place where the future of our county begins and we are proud to be that place.”
The project focused on renovating postpartum rooms to private rooms with new amenities, furniture and private showers, as well as sleeper sofas for significant others and new basinets and recliners. Labor rooms were also upgraded with new furniture, flooring, sinks, counters and case carts, as well as sleeper sofas or chairs.
Additional changes included the construction of a triage room for outpatients. This four-bed triage room is outfitted with new birthing beds and a medication station. The triage room is slated to open on July 1.
“We are excited about all the new features and cannot wait to share them with our patients,” Lea Walls, Clinical Director of the FBBC, said. “It was a long process but it was well worth it and our staff and our patients will benefit for years to come from these upgrades.”
The hospital also improved the FBBC waiting room with new amenities; installed a new surgical light and flooring in the cesarean birthing room; renovated the nurse’s station and locker room area, added a new isolation nursery and expanded the Level 2 nursery.
While the renovations were ongoing throughout the winter and spring, FBBC staff continued to meet the community’s obstetrical needs, working from other sections of the birthing center as well as from a temporary location on the first floor of the hospital.
Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Betty Ann Rock said that the renovations were needed but added that it was imperative that FBBC services be maintained while the project was underway.
“It was important that we continued to offer the high level of care our patients have come to expect from the FBBC and from Uniontown Hospital while these upgrades were implemented,” Rock said.
The hospital held a community open house Tuesday evening to allow prospective patients an opportunity to discover what sets the FBBC apart from other birthing options in the region.
“This is the perfect opportunity for us to exemplify what makes us better,” Handy said. “We are friends, family and neighbors caring for friends, family and neighbors with the same qualified and exceptional physicians and staff you’d find in a big city hospital working in an ideal environment to provide the level of care that our patients require.”
Under the management of Support Services Executive Director Don Record and Facilities Management Director Biff Fagan, contractors worked to create a new FBBC area that offers increased security as well as the same aesthetic appeal that the hospital has implemented in other renovated areas of the facility.
“Our concern with projects like this are, first and foremost, meeting our required codes and standards, providing the upgrades that will allow our clinical staff the tools and work areas they need and also incorporating the fresh and clean look that makes the unit inviting and pleasing,” Record said. “I think our teams were able to accomplish that.”
The FBBC will utilize multiple layers of security for the department, with measures including the use of the HUGS monitor anklets for newborns, which has been in use at Uniontown Hospital for years, as well as newer measures including locking the unit to through traffic and implementing new requirements for access to the FBBC floor.