Baptist Health Paducah announced an approximately $5.5 million renovation of its Mother-Baby Unit on Tuesday, during what hospital president Chris Roty called a “great day” for health care in western Kentucky.
The unit’s second renovation phase is set for an early 2021 completion, and it’s named the John and Vivian Williams Mother-Baby Unit, in honor of a local, philanthropic couple who contributed the lead gift for the project. It includes updated postpartum suites for patients, pediatric rooms, nursing stations, a physician lounge and a waiting area.
The unit hasn’t undergone a major renovation in decades, according to the hospital.
The first renovation phase is already completed and the hospital hosted a Zoom presentation late Tuesday afternoon to celebrate with John and Vivian Williams, who participated virtually. There was also a tour for media outlets to show the renovated rooms, bathrooms and other areas for patients, such as a colorful waiting area geared toward children.
“Throughout the region, we’re proud of the facility you have and the staff that’s available for our service, but the fact of the matter is, the mother-baby unit hadn’t been updated in a long time,” John Williams said via Zoom.
“We have three sons. Our two younger sons, 53, and, 48, were born in that unit and as Vivian and I toured it, it doesn’t look much different than it did when they were born. It’s obviously a piece of the hospital that needs to be brought up to date, and we’re pleased to have had the opportunity to provide the lead gift.”
He also thanked people who have made commitments for the campaign and encouraged others to help make it a “complete success.” The couple shared they recently toured the renovated part of the unit, and it left a positive impression on the pair.
Vivian Williams said she was amazed.
“It’s impressive and I can’t imagine why anybody would want to go anywhere else,” she told viewers. “It’s a beautiful, modern facility and I’m very proud to be a little part of it.”
The Williamses aren’t alone in their passion for the renovation project, which was evident in Lisa Parnell, RN and director of the Mother and Baby department, and Dr. Matthew Sublette, who’s an OB-GYN.
“I’m really excited,” Sublette told The Sun.
“... If you work through the process of having a baby, you come in — in labor and the first thing that you experience is the new labor and delivery (unit) and then you go out to postpartum after you’ve recovered from your delivery, where you room in with your baby. And, the whole process now is seamless, up-to-date, high-tech, super nice quality and it’s just going to be a wonderful experience overall.”
Parnell said the hospital’s patients are loving the unit’s renovations so far, noting its spacious rooms and nice bathrooms.
“It makes you feel like you’re in a hotel,” she added. “We have every bit of emergency equipment we could have in the room, but you don’t see it. You don’t notice it, yet you notice it’s a very relaxed atmosphere for your family to be taken care of.”
Sublette echoed Parnell’s sentiments, adding that it’s “calming” and that’s something you want after having a baby.
“You’re exhausted and the baby doesn’t let you sleep,” he said.
“All the industrial-looking stuff is kind of hidden. It just looks like a normal room. It’s a wonderful, peaceful place to spend those first couple of days getting to know your new child with all the high-tech important things that we need to take good care of people right at our fingertips.”
The unit’s renovation provides it with a “technically sophisticated, state-of-the-art facility” that enhances patient experiences from labor and delivery through discharge, according to the hospital. In recent years, Baptist Health Paducah has opened its expanded Level III John and Loree Eckstein Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and a renovated Labor and Delivery Unit.
“We’re extremely grateful for John and Vivian for their support, and there’s so many others in the community that have also stepped up to support,” said Jason Straub, director of philanthropy for Baptist Health Foundation Paducah.
“And while we’re close to our goal, we still do have some work to do and there still is some needs to be met. We count on the community to help support these projects and, so, we really rely on those donations to keep coming in, so that we can continue to serve our community with the top-notch health care that they deserve.”
For more information on how to impact Baptist Health Paducah’s mother, baby and neonatal services, contact the hospital’s foundation at 270-575-2871.