Baby boom: Center wins national attention, local fans

June 2012 Posted in Business, Your Health

By Kristine Thomas

Yara Delgado and Kristin High shared one of their most private, physically painful, yet monumental moments in their lives with their colleagues.

They did so knowing they could fully trust them, would not be judged for anything they said or did during the moment, and most of all would receive the support and care they needed to achieve their goal.

Both Delgado and High gave birth at Silverton Health’s Family Birth Center, the same place they work.

“I knew I wanted to deliver at Silverton Health because I knew all the staff, trusted them and I knew I would get great care, even though I also knew it wouldn’t be the most modest experience in my life,” High said, laughing.

“It was a great experience,” Delgado said. “Every step of the way the staff was comforting and whatever my needs were, they were met.”

Much credit for how the staff dedicates itself to its patients is given to William Winter, the hospital’s former long-time president, who emphasized quality care for all patients.

To honor Winter for his 20 years as the president of Silverton Health and more than 45 years as a health-care leader in Oregon, the Silverton Health Family Birth Center was renamed the William E. Winter Birth Center this spring.

Under his direction, the once-struggling community hospital grew into a successful independent health system.

“I was blessed to work with a board, physicians and staff that shared a vision of keeping health care close to home,” Winter said. “This has meant providing services, specialists and wellness programs that are rare in communities our size.”

With Winter’s guidance and vision, Silverton Hospital expanded in 1995 to include the Family Birth Center

Patient satisfaction ratings for the birthing center earned it a spot on J.D. Power and Associates’ prestigious list of America’s hospitals. The Distinguished Hospital Program recognizes organizations that provide an “Outstanding Patient Experience” and are focused on providing industry-leading levels of customer satisfaction. In 2007, Silverton Hospital became the first Oregon hospital to be given the “Maternity Service Excellence” award.

Silverton Hospital is the 28th largest among Oregon’s hospitals, based upon the number of patient beds. At the same time, Silverton Hospital was eighth in 2011 in number of babies born (the top 7 are located in Portland and Eugene), with a total of 1,642 births.

Delgado, a physician, is not only impressed with the care she received delivering her child but also with how eager the nurses are to share their knowledge of different birthing practices with her.

“It comes down to the one-on-one patient care,” Delgado said. “The nurses are so driven to connect with the patient and provide the patient the type of birthing experience they want. They respect the patient’s needs and wants.”

“There is a camaraderie in the birthing center,” Delgado said. “We all work equally and learn from one another so that we can best serve the patient.”

At the William E. Winter Birthing Center, a patient has the same nurse for 12 hours to provide consistency, Delgado said.

“I have seen nurses stay after their shift to help a mom through labor and not get paid for it,” Delgado said. “There is a real commitment to the patient.”

Working with the nurses and learning from them has made her a better provider, she said.

“The quality and the care and the support the staff provides is unequal to anything I have seen,” she said.

High, 27, graduated from Linfield College and has been working at Silverton Health for five years. She has a six-month-old son, Noah.

“I had the best pregnancy ever  – never was sick or had nausea – when I got pre-eclampsia,” she said. “I was induced on a Thursday night, went to the hospital on Friday and left on Sunday. During that time, I had two nurses, one who worked days and the other nights and they gave reports to one another on how I was doing.”

High said her nurses worked with her and coached her throughout her labor.

“I think at Silverton Health we are more a natural, family-centered birth place. I have had patients who had a child elsewhere and then a child at Silverton Health who tell me here they get better care, the nurses are nicer and the nurses pay more attention to them.

“It always makes me sad to hear that because that’s how it should be (everywhere).”

The care for new moms and babies doesn’t stop once the child is born, High said.

“I love our lactation nurses who are so helpful and provide free breastfeeding support for new moms for the first month,” she said.

Brittny Foltz said she doesn’t mind driving from Aumsville to Silverton to see Delgado.

“I really wanted to deliver at Silverton Health because I have heard really good things about the doctors and the birthing center,” she said. “It’s worth the 35-minute drive to get here.”

She has toured the birthing center to see the rooms and described them as “really nice.”

“What I appreciate is I don’t know what to expect so I have a lot of questions and Dr. Delgado answers all my questions,” she said. “She makes me feel confident because she is so nice and helpful.”

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