Date: 5/2/2007

Community Hospital groundbreaking for Post Partum private rooms is May 3

MUNSTER — The Community Hospital will break ground Thursday on a $5 million expansion of its Birthing Center. The expansion marks the first time the hospital’s building has been expanded in nearly 10 years and represents the first phase of an effort to convert to private rooms.

The expansion will add 11 patient rooms, offering a total of 25 private rooms to the hospital’s Post Partum unit where care is provided to new mothers after they deliver. Currently, all of the hospital’s birthing suites are private so this expansion will extend these same accommodations to new mothers throughout their hospital stay.

A ground breaking ceremony will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday May 3 on the hospital’s rooftop garden, the site of the new construction. Among those who will be invited to help break ground for the expansion will be Angie Wilson, the first baby born at Community Hospital and who now works as a nurse in the hospital’s Neuroscience Unit.

“These 11 new rooms are a significant beginning for us as we begin to eliminate semi-private rooms here at Community Hospital,” said Don Fesko, Administrator of Community Hospital. “We always tried to accommodate patient requests for private rooms, but as the area’s busiest hospital, this is a challenge and the only real solution is to begin adding rooms.”

Community Hospital delivers about 2,500 babies a year, more than any other hospital in Northwest Indiana. This expansion follows a $2 million remodeling and upgrade to its 16-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery in 2003.

“With the completion of this expansion project, our Family Birthing Center will offer new mothers the privacy they desire for one of the most intimate times in their lives,” Fesko added. “These new rooms will enhance the comfort of patients and better accommodate family requests throughout the birthing experience here at Community Hospital.”

The expansion of the Family Birthing Center will push the building out over a portion of the hospital’s rooftop garden. The 11 new private rooms in Post Partum are expected to be completed by February, 2008. The existing semi-private Post Partum rooms will be converted to private and remodeled. The all-private Birthing Suites will also be remodeled as part of this project. The hospital’s three nurseries, which include the special care and neonatal units, will not be affected by the project.

The private rooms in post partum will feature new wall paper, ceiling finishes, flooring, flat panel TVs, draperies, art work as well as the latest equipment and new technology; the nursing station will be relocated to a central position closer to patient rooms and will feature new cabinets and counters. The birthing suites, which are already private, will be updated with new wall finishes, ceiling and draperies.

“The new Post Partum unit will have the same home-like feel of our birthing suites along with the private accommodations,” Fesko said. “Our new Birthing Center is being designed for the comfort, privacy and special needs of our new families.”