Ren­o­va­tion begins for hospital’s Mater­nal Child Ser­vices Floor

March 17, 2022

JACKSONVILLE, NC – March 17, 2022. The 1.5 million dollar “Building for Babies” renovation at Onslow Memorial Hospital (OMH) shifts into high gear this week as major infrastructure improvements begin.

Over 1.2 million is being funded through Onslow County community donations to the hospital Foundation, with additional monies anticipated from a black-tie gala to be held at the Jacksonville American Legion Building in June. OMH Foundation Executive Director Lee Ann Thomas says the long-awaited renovation project is “truly a labor of love—by the community and for the community.

“Our donors have been with us every step of way,” says Thomas. “We are hosting a final Building for Babies gala event on June 4th—and I know we can reach our goal. Our community realizes how important this project is for Onslow County.”

The structural changes will include:

  • refurbishing all 6 semi-private rooms, 4 of which have in-room bathrooms with showers that will be refurbished;
  • refurbishing 2 hall bathrooms with showers in postpartum to the same standard as the in-room bathrooms;
  • adding a self-serve family nourishment room;
  • refurbishing all 10 LDR (Labor/ Delivery/Recovery) rooms, with 4 rooms being upgraded to LDRP (Labor/Delivery/Recovery/Postpartum) rooms;
  • all LDR and LDRP rooms have private bathrooms with showers that will be completely refurbished

The interior design was created by The East Group of Raleigh, NC and will feature soothing colors and textures, spa-like showers and stress-reducing lighting.

But there’s an even greater benefit to the renovation than meets the eye—and it’s called ‘couplet care’, the practice of caring for mother and baby together in one room throughout the labor/delivery/recovery/postpartum experience.

Couplet care is recognized as essential to a newborn’s development by leading health organizations, including the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and World Health Organization (WHO).

Studies show that when babies are not separated from their mothers, they cry less, soothe more quickly, spend more time quietly sleeping, have greater breastfeeding success, and stay healthier, even well into later life.

And because couplet care means all the baby’s routine assessments and screenings are done in-room, parents have the opportunity to ask questions and build confidence with skills like bathing, diapering, and soothing—all before they leave the hospital.

“Our patients continually tell us that OMH has the greatest doctors, providers, nurses and staff taking care of all our new moms and their precious babies,” says Thomas. “Now with the modernization of our physical facility, we’re confident we’ll be the hospital of choice in Eastern North Carolina for all our expectant moms.”

“This project is made possible by so many people who share a passion for our community hospital and for the community we serve,” states President and CEO, Dr. Penney Burlingame Deal. “I am grateful to our OMH Foundation and the many donors for their support of Building for Babies. Our Board, medical staff and leadership immediately recognized the importance of this project and have worked hand in hand with the Foundation from the very beginning. OMH is committed to seeing this project through to completion so much so that we will be making up the difference in funds raised and the associated costs.”

“To me, Building for Babies is one of the most meaningful campaigns the Foundation has ever undertaken,” agrees Thomas. “The Onslow community is building much more than a beautiful, modern facility—together we’re creating a space for the mother and baby’s bond to grow. I can’t think of any greater gift to future generations.”