Sunday, April 22, 2018
Business

With new maternity suites, Oak Hill Hospital re-enters the baby business

SPRING HILL — Heavily pregnant Carson Rivera stood eagerly at the front of the crowd as Oak Hill Hospital launched with public tours on Saturday the grand opening of its 18-bed state-of-the-art maternity suites.

"I'm the first C-section scheduled on Wednesday morning," said the bright-eyed 25-year-old Rivera, a Spring Hill mother of three. It would be the first time Rivera would have the opportunity to watch the entire delivery.

In the hospital's specially equipped obstetrical surgery suite, nurses explained that the old cover-all drape is gone, replaced with a clear drape through which the mother can see "the golden experience" unfold. So, too, the father or another person of the mother's choosing, who will stand by her head.

"I'm excited about the clear drape," Rivera said. And "the operating room is a lot larger (then where she has delivered previously). The rooms are beautiful. I love it."

She referred to the spacious labor and post-partum rooms, where computer and field monitoring apparatus allow the expectant mother to walk about, where she can choose her favorite aromatherapy diffusion, where mothers will experience up to two hours of after-birth skin-to-skin bonding with their infants, where baby and mother will share a memory foam bed for the duration of their stay, where Dad is provided with a couch with a pullout bed.

Patient suites are equipped with a flat-screen TV, WiFi, refrigerator and private bathroom with shower, all of which dazzled Jose Estrada, whose fiancee, Chelsea Barrett, 21, will deliver their first baby, a son, later this month.

"It's fancy," the Spring Hill resident opined.

"This is like a five-star," said Jessica Allen of Spring Hill, who has chosen Oak Hill for the birth of her fourth child, expected July 25. "The kindness of everybody so far" likewise wowed the mother.

The staff includes three obstetric-gynecology specialty physicians, five board-certified midwifery nurses, numerous maternity nurse caregivers and teaching specialists in areas such as lactation, new family care and sibling preparedness.

With the maternity unit operational 24/7 year-round, midwives are core, performing most of the deliveries, although expectant mothers may arrange for physician-assisted deliveries.

Five midwives with Suncoast OB/GYN and All-Women's Midwifery & Health Care came on staff exclusively with the hospital Tuesday.

"Midwives are in the same office as the (obstetrics) doctors, so we meet most of the patients (before delivery)," said midwife group leader Michelle Hale. "The five midwives total 107 years of experience."

Speaking of the maternity suite nurses, hospital marketing director Rich Linkul pointed out, "Even though the unit is new, they have much experience. They're top of the line."

Veronica Didier, a registered nurse, is one of those. With 50 years of experience as a mother and 40 years as an obstetrics nurse who personally delivered some 100 babies in rural hospitals, she gave up her job as a traveling nurse to join Oak Hill's maternity unit.

"I think this is the most awesome I've ever been in," she said. "They're all so dedicated, and it's state-of-the-art."

Many of the staffers have transferred from Bayfront Health Spring Hill, which has operated the only maternity unit in Hernando County since 2002. It was then that Oak Hill shut down its longtime maternity unit.

"Demographics indicated the need for enhancement of heart care," said Linkul.

Thus, space formerly occupied by maternity was converted for open-heart surgery.

Demographics now, he said, have changed, prompting the return of maternity services.

"There's tremendous growth in families, young ones. We felt it was to complement us to be a full tertiary hospital. Adding OB to women's services completed that whole package of offerings to the community."

Last year, births registered in Hernando County numbered 1,585. Of those, 1,295 were at Bayfront Spring Hill; 288, or 18 percent, were delivered outside of Hernando.

"Our operation is to keep people in the county," midwife Hale said.

Labor delivery nurse Angela Skelton took note of the timing of the maternity suites' opening, as Tropical Storm Colin made its way across Florida. She expressed enthusiasm for an extra-busy week.

"When the barometric pressure drops," she declared, " the babies start coming."

Contact Beth Gray at [email protected]

Comments
Some people are paying for cuddles. And it’s not what you might think.

Some people are paying for cuddles. And it’s not what you might think.

When Samantha Hess’s marriage ended five years ago, she felt she was lacking a basic human need: Physical touch. As a woman in her late 20s living in Portland, Oregon, she found plenty of men interested in dating, but sexual contact was not what she ...
Published: 04/21/18
Judge: Foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa violated numerous rules of conduct

Judge: Foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa violated numerous rules of conduct

Tampa Bay foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa has violated numerous rules of professional conduct and caused two clients to nearly lose their homes because he failed to tell them about settlement offers from their banks. Those were among the prelim...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/21/18
Goodwill to open second store in greater Brandon

Goodwill to open second store in greater Brandon

Times staffThe greater Brandon area will celebrate the grand opening of its second Goodwill store beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday (April 28) at 1407 U.S. 301. The new store will add another 12,000 square feet to the complex, which includes a 200,000-...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/21/18
Regulators allow major solar company to lease home equipment

Regulators allow major solar company to lease home equipment

State regulators Friday determined that one of the country’s largest residential solar companies, San Francisco-based Sunrun, is allowed to lease solar energy equipment for homes in Florida. The decision, solar energy advocates say, could open the do...
Published: 04/20/18
Florida unemployment at 3.9 percent for sixth straight month

Florida unemployment at 3.9 percent for sixth straight month

For the sixth month running, Florida’s unemployment rate held at a nearly 11-year low of 3.9 percent in March as steady job gains continued. While many factors kept Florida’s economy chugging along, three industries stand out for leading year-over-ye...
Published: 04/20/18
Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of ‘online terrorism’

Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of ‘online terrorism’

ST. PETERSBURG --- Stretched across the front of Tim and Hyun Kims’ two-year-old house is a big banner with the name of a developer and the words: "I have to fix my new house."Some of what needs fixing is instantly apparent. The front steps are too ...
Published: 04/20/18
Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida has hit a milestone of sorts as it slowly moves toward wider availability of medical marijuana.The number of patients in the state who are registered to use the substance has surpassed 100,000 for the first time, according to Florida Departme...
Published: 04/20/18
Q&A: Walmart leader chats about Florida stores, and the chain’s latest retail strategy

Q&A: Walmart leader chats about Florida stores, and the chain’s latest retail strategy

The Tampa Bay Times recently sat down with Walmart director of corporate communications Phillip Keene to chat about the retail giant’s latest retail strategies and how the company is winning over customers in a competitive market.Already, two of the ...
Published: 04/20/18
SunTrust warns 1.5 million clients of potential data breach

SunTrust warns 1.5 million clients of potential data breach

Associated PressNEW YORK — SunTrust Banks Inc. says accounts for 1.5 million clients could be compromised following a potential data breach. The Atlanta bank says that it became aware of the potential theft by a former employee and that the investiga...
Published: 04/20/18
Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

The Tampa Bay area’s hotel occupancy rate rose to 87.5 percent in March, the highest level in three years. The rise was fueled by spring break vacationers as well as insurance adjusters and hurricane cleanup crews flooding the state to restore it aft...
Published: 04/20/18