121st Combat Support Hospital opens unit for care of women, infants
July 30, 2007
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — While health care professionals delivered a healthy new facility on July 9, Thursday marked the day they officially cut the cord.
In a baby shower-like atmosphere, complete with blue and pink ribbons, cake and diapers, officials from the 121st Combat Support Hospital held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Women and Infant Care Unit.
“I think our patients will be very pleased with the quality of the facility we’ll be providing for them,” 18th Medical Command’s Col. Gregory Jolissaint said. “And I know our staff will be.”
Located on the hospital’s second floor, the WICU boasts a larger nurses’ station, three labor and delivery rooms, three postpartum rooms and new equipment and furniture.
Another improvement is a bathroom in every patient room.
“The old facility had centralized restrooms,” said Capt. Mashandra Elam, obstetrics/gynecology staff nurse. “This is a big improvement.”
She said the facility’s new lights and warmers to treat newborns with jaundice means fewer infants must be transferred to other hospitals due to equipment shortages.
“The rooms here are better,” said Silk Sisco, whose child, born only 36 hours earlier, was resting under two of the hospital’s new lights.
Elam said the new facility arrived just in time: With more soldiers bringing family members to South Korea, the number of pregnancies is on the rise.
In the last three months, Elam said, the number of patients has risen from an average of 20 to 30 a month to 30 to 35.
About 50 women are expected to deliver babies at the hospital next month.