Whitesburg ARH Welcomes First Addition to Hospital’s New Addition


A Whitesburg woman’s special delivery marked a milestone for Whitesburg ARH Hospital today as she became the first mother to give birth in the hospital’s newly completed patient care wing that offers state-of-the-art birthing facilities and advanced care for women and babies.

Luke David Dotson was born Tuesday weighing 7lbs 13 oz and is 20 inches long. His proud parents are Ashley and Daniel.

Luke’s birth came just hours after the hospital began moving patients to their new patient care wing.

“We relocated OB/Nursery and Labor and Delivery early Monday evening. In less than 24 hours, we have four post-partum patients, two in active labor and two cesarean sections scheduled,” Whitesburg ARH Community CEO Dena Sparkman says. “It was an emotional moment as the first patient in the wing arrived with her new baby yesterday just after dinner. She was as proud to be there as we were to have her.”

The new patient care wing, part of an $11 million hospital expansion and renovation project, includes 16 private patient rooms for delivery, recovery and postoperative patients.

Sparkman says family-centered care is an essential part of the birthing experience at Whitesburg ARH so all OB rooms now feature new patient beds, furniture, oak-trimmed bassinets and sleep chairs and flat screen TVs to accommodate mothers, and babies, as well as fathers and visiting family members.

The new OB area features everything a new mother needs located on a single floor and centralizes labor/delivery, nursery, and obstetrics units, and offers a comfortable, quiet waiting area for families.

The new wing added 15,000 square feet onto the hospital and features:
• 16 private patient rooms for delivery recovery and post-operative non-infectious patients
• Four labor and delivery suites, increased from two
• All new state-of-the art equipment
• Computerized documentation system for infant medical records
• Nursery capacity nearly tripled in size which increases it to 12 cribs and is equipped with an isolation room to care for sicker babies, which can be upgraded to a Level 2 nursery
• Dedicated C-section/women’s surgery suite
• Comprehensive security procedures and systems in place
• Two family waiting rooms and a lactation center for new parents

“The goal of this project was not to just build a building but to bring about the best experience for all of our patients,” Sparkman says. “The flow and function of the space was designed by the clinicians who are providing care which means every aspect of the design was geared at how the caregiver could spend the most time with the patient and provide that patient the best care and comfort. I would like to thank Diane Watts, RN who is OB Director, and her staff of amazing women who made this possible. They worked very hard to dream it and now are working hard to live up to the dream.”

OB/GYN Wade Baker, MD, who delivers babies at Whitesburg ARH, says the women’s care features in the new patient care wing are unlike anywhere else in the area.

“It has always been an honor that so many women have placed their trust in us to deliver their babies at Whitesburg ARH,” Dr. Baker says. “Not only we will continue to offer our patients and their children the highest level of care, we are now offering it in a new, spacious and state-of-the-art facility unlike any other in our region.”

About ARH
Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) is a not-for-profit health system serving 350,000 residents across Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia. Operating nine hospitals, multi-specialty physician practices, home health agencies, HomeCare Stores and retail pharmacies, ARH is the largest provider of care and single largest employer in southeastern Kentucky and the third largest private employer in southern West Virginia.

The ARH system employs more than 4,700 employees and has a network of more than 600 active and courtesy medical staff members representing various specialties. Firmly committed to its mission of improving the health and promoting the well-being of all people in Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia, in the past 12 months alone, ARH provided more than $120 million in uncompensated care for the uninsured and underinsured.

Consistently recognized for its medical excellence, the ARH system was one of two Kentucky health systems to be named earlier this year to the 2011 SDI IHN 100 listing of the most highly integrated healthcare networks in the nation, and was selected as the 2010 Outstanding Rural Health Organization in the nation by the National Rural Health Association (NRHA).

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