- ’15 Birth Total Up 105-Pct. from ’11 Calendar Year
The Seminole Hospital District is seeing a baby boom, of sorts, according to figures recently released by the district, which reflected a 105-percent increase in births at Seminole’s Memorial Hospital between the 2011 and 2015 calendar years.
According to Seminole Hospital District figures obtained late last week, 379 babies were born at Memorial Hospital last calendar year, an increase of 63 babies born from the 2014 calendar year and up 195 babies when compared to the 2011 calendar year.
Betsy Briscoe, Chief Executive Officer for the Seminole Hospital District, contributes the recent birth increases to a thriving community.
“While residents of other communities have been using our hospital, a significant number of the babies delivered here over the past several years have been to Gaines County parents,” said Briscoe in an e-mail to the Seminole Sentinel on Thursday evening.
A reflection of the recent increases over the past several years, the Seminole Hospital District has had past instances where Memorial Hospital’s four designated labor and delivery rooms full of expectant mothers, and had to use patient rooms in the facility’s surgical hall to house overflow patients.
“We have borrowed bassinets from Denver City (Yoakum County Hospital) on several occasions and our nursing team has worked extra shifts on many more occasions,” said Briscoe.
The growth of babies born at Memorial Hospital over the past several years, even prior to the 2011 calendar year data, is one of several contributing factors behind an expansion and renovation project taking place at the medical campus, located in the 200 block of N.W. 8th St.
In May 2013, Seminole Hospital District taxpayers approved of a $48.5 million bond project, which includes the development of a new labor and delivery wing to the medical facility. Construction and renovations to the medical facility, according to an October update by SHD officials, is expected to be completed by the end of the 2017 calendar year.
Initial plans for the new labor and delivery department is calling for an increase of patient rooms from four to eight located in a designated area of the hospital where various security measures will be put into place to provide patient and newborn safety.
“Our new Labor and Delivery unit cannot get here quick enough,” said Briscoe. “Doubling in deliveries has proven to be challenging on many occasions.”
Briscoe added that in addition to physical changes to the Memorial Hospital’s facility, as well as the addition of a second labor and delivery physician, Dr. Gilbert Sayegh, MD, OB/GYN, in the 2014 calendar year, hospital district nurses are also training as lactation specialists. In addition, the local hospital district has plans on providing labor and delivery classes to expectant mothers.
“As the Memorial Hospital grows and begins to focus more on women’s health, I’m glad we can share this very important moment in a women’s life,” said Briscoe.