The renovations to the Center for Women and Newborns include important additions in equipment and space to make Firelands Regional Medical Center eligible to receive licensing as a Level II Nursery. This means that Firelands Center for Women and Newborns will now be able to keep mothers and babies born at 32 weeks or more, instead of sending them to Toledo or Cleveland for care. Firelands new Pediatric Hospitalists urged staff in the Center for Women and Newborns to consider space and equipment needs to establish our medical center as a Level II Nursery. But, these needs were not budgeted for in the cost of renovations, initially. So now, we are asking the community to bridge the gap to bring this important service to families in our region.
“When moms have health issues between 32 and 35 weeks or when babies are born early, it is a scary time for families,” Linda Ricci, Director of the Center for Women and Newborns, says, “It is even scarier when they are faced with traveling to another facility. This new Level II licensing will allow us to keep moms and babies who need just a little extra care. It will take away a lot of the stress of traveling and will keep families together.”
Ricci says the decision to keep moms and babies or send them to another facility is ultimately based on their physician’s evaluation. For example, Firelands Center for Women and Newborns will be able to treat a baby who may only need to be on a ventilator for 24 hours; before, the baby and his or her family had to be sent elsewhere for this brief care. The renovated Center for Women and Newborns is set to open in mid-2015, with plans to get the Level II licensing and operations running in early 2016.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to expand our services into the Level II Nursery, because we will be the only facility between Toledo and Cleveland with this ability,” Ricci says, “Families will be able to stay close to home and have their support system here. Ultimately, that means better care for the mom and the baby and a better experience for everyone.”