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Building for Babies project underway at Onslow Memorial Hospital

Building for Babies project underway at Onslow Memorial Hospital
Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 6:49 PM EDT
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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Onslow Memorial Hospital began the next phase of its Building for Babies project.

The project brings new renovations to the maternity ward of the hospital.

The Onslow Memorial Hospital Foundation says the initial plan was for a $200,000 project but says it has expanded to a $1.6 million project.

The renovations call for new flooring, roofing, lighting, and countertops.

The foundation says renovations also include refurbishing all six of the semi-private rooms and will add showers to four of the rooms with in-room bathrooms.

The plan is also to refurbish a couple of the hall bathrooms in the postpartum area of the maternity ward and will add postpartum features to four of the 10 labor, delivery and recovery rooms.

Lee Ann Thomas, Executive Director of the Onslow Memorial Hospital Foundation says the plan has been in the works for some time.

“So our plan was to start about five years ago. We started raising money for Building for Babies to renovate this floor. We had several start dates, but because of COVID numbers and the waves that we had come through, we would be all ready to start, and we’d have to pull back and stop and wait,” said Thomas.

Despite national trends of declining birth rates Onslow Memorial says it delivered 31 more babies in 2020-2021 than delivered in 2019-2020.

The Lenoir County health department also reported 46 more babies were delivered during the pandemic than in 2019. The Onslow County Health Department reported 90 fewer deliveries throughout the county. CarolinaEast reported 42 fewer deliveries.

Longtime staff members in the Onslow Memorial Hospital maternity ward say they are looking forward to the renovations.

“I’ve been here for 22 years. I’ll tell you the one thing that I’m the most excited about we give up to date 2022 care people are visual and so I really wanted the updates. I feel like I’m going to be representative of the care that we give,” says clinical labor and delivery coordinator, Sonya Camp.

The project is expected to last throughout the spring and summer and finish in October.

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