“We provide a service beyond what you expect,” said Winchester District Memorial Hospital (WDMH) CEO, Cholly Boland.
On November 17th, WDMH hosted a Coffee and Conversation period with the press to talk about the hospital’s obstetrics program.
Susan Castle, Clinical Manager of Medical/Surgical and Obstetrics at WDMH told reporters: “We’re classified as a Level One hospital. Any really sick moms or babes have to go to Ottawa. To go up a level, we’d need a nursery, which we don’t have.”
In terms of what WDMH offers, she said, “we have three female obstetricians. We have six midwives. We offer anesthesia service – epidurals. We take the pain situation very seriously here.”
“We give mom options,” Castle continued. “Patients can choose what they feel comfortable with.”
“We have four birthing rooms and eight postpartum rooms.”
Boland interjected, saying “we have birthing rooms that are home-like, not like a hospital room.”
Continuing, he said, “maternity is right next door to surgery if a cesarean section is required.”
Dr. Ejibonmi Adetola, Chief of Obstetrics at WDMH since March 2011, says the “cesarean section rate is about 22 per cent.”
“You don’t find a lot of Level One hospitals with three obstetricians with a 24 hour service.”
“That’s what draws the women to us. It’s the word of mouth,” continued Dr. Adetola. “It is really nice here. Nurses are really dedicated.”
Castle agreed, saying, “we have a stable non-turnover group of nurses who take pride in their work.”
She explained that the nurses are specially trained to work in the obstetrics unit, adding, “I have nurses coming from Ottawa applying here, which is great because they’re highly experienced.”
“Our postpartum service is open 24/7 as of November 1st,” said Castle. Here, she continued, “RNs are specifically trained to work with mom now that she’s delivered.”
According to Boland, there were approximately 200 births at WDMH in 2006.
Castle said there have been approximately 400 births per year since 2006 and this year, in 2011, the total is approximately 600 births.
According to Dr. Adetola, “patients come from all over Ottawa, from as far as Brockville and Cornwall, as well as all the neighbouring towns. People come from everywhere.”
Boland emphasized, “we have this expert surgical coverage. People need to understand it can happen in a community this size.”
Having a baby at WDMH is “a safe experience, a comfortable experience, it’s a small town home experience,” said Boland.
According to Castle, “everybody gets a knitted hat,” thanks to volunteers and to the WDMH Foundation,
The Foundation also offers parents, grandparents, friends or neighbours the opportunity to purchase a “shiny red wooden apple with baby’s picture, name and birth date on it” for a minimum of $60 in celebration of the hospital’s 60th anniversary. The apple is hung on the apple tree wall in the obstetrics unit for one year. On baby’s first birthday the apple is returned home as a keepsake.
Money raised through the apple program “will help the hospital grow, supporting equipment purchases to enhance the excellent care programs for your friends and family.”