As 2021 passes by the one-year mark when the global COVID-19 pandemic began, there is a lot to reflect on in a year's time. While COVID-19 consumed much of Logansport Memorial's time and attention throughout 2020, and changed plans for growth and the way we needed to provide care safely, it should not diminish what progress was still made toward our ongoing facility improvement projects. The culmination of a multi-year project was marked with the "unofficial" opening of the newly renovated Family Birth Center, and the progress continues toward a much-anticipated opening of a new Breast Center with state-of-the-art 3D mammography capabilities later this summer.
As part of the Logansport Memorial Hospital Foundation's 2017 Capital Campaign, renovations to the Family Birth Center were finalized to reveal a state-of-the-art space with upgraded amenities and modernized technology. The new Family Birth Center will continued to be enjoyed by the nearly 500 families that we serve each year during the birth of a new baby. The newly renovated area includes all-in-one birthing suites (known as LDRPs -- labor, delivery, recovery, postpartum) that are private rooms. There are 8 suites on the unit. Moving to this model of care, where mom, baby, and birth partner stay together in the same room throughout their entire stay, is how Logansport Memorial "delivers" a family-centered approach to each birthing experience. The entire unit was designed with the assistance and input of Logansport Memorial OB/GYNs, pediatricians, and Family Birth Center staff.
"The completion of this multi-phase project is so important to note and celebrate, especially in this challenging time of dealing with COVID-19," comments Perry Gay, Logansport Memorial Hospital President and CEO. "Healthy families make healthy communities, and we want to give those families their best possible start. The families that we are privileged to serve from across the north central Indiana region deserve a unique and state-of-the-art birthing experience. Our team of physicians, providers, and staff who care for our moms and babies are exceptional, and they bring our commitment to high-quality, safe, and personalized maternity care to life. Offering this modernized, state-of-the-art space for them to share in and enhance a very special time in a family's life is something I'm excited, honored, and very proud to be part of here at Logansport Memorial."
Perry went on to say, "We have seen that there are many benefits to this family-centered model of care that have been proven to show improved clinical outcomes for both the mother and the newborn. Working with our team of physicians, providers, and staff ensured that we were able to plan for and incorporate those evidence-based concepts in patient care -- like rooming in and skin-to-skin bonding. I am more confident than ever in our ability to not only provide the highest quality healthcare for our OB patients and their newborns, but to also 'wow' them with compassion, comfort, and convenience as they stay with us."
Logansport Memorial allocated $3 million for the project, spent over the course of two and a half years. The completed renovation was made possible in large part by the generous support that was given from the community to the Logansport Memorial Hospital Foundation's "Building for Generations" Capital Campaign in 2017. The capital campaign raised a total of $1.3 million for two significant facility improvements at the hospital, beginning with the Cancer Care Center that was built throughout 2017 and officially opened in 2018. Shortly after that, work began on the Family Birth Center that was completed in carefully planned additional phases so that babies could still be delivered safely while construction was ongoing.
Vicki Byrd, Vice-President of Planning and Development for Logansport Memorial Hospital who has oversight and responsibility for the Logansport Memorial Hospital Foundation, also shared her excitement about the completion of the project.
"We were so moved by the tremendous outpouring of financial support that was shown to our hospital for this project during the capital campaign," comments Vicki. "Our Foundation board of directors and our capital campaign chairwoman Jan Packard really helped our community businesses, leaders, individuals, and families connect with these projects and see that this investment in our hospital facilities and services would benefit generations for years to come. Although we have been disappointed that we could not share this excitement with our donors and community members in the traditional way of an open house, we want everyone to know what a celebration this truly is for all of us involved."
Due to COVID-19 restrictions and in the interest of safety for the moms and babies we serve, there is no open house planned to officially mark the opening of the maternity unit. In fact, COVID-19 was even more of an additional challenge in opening the Family Birth Center than Logansport Memorial could have ever anticipated. While renovations were under way, a temporary obstetrics unit was relocated to a vacant wing of the Medical/Surgical floor. When COVID-19 hit, Logansport Memorial needed to use that space as the safest place to care for COVID patients. Since the Family Birth Center renovation was completed in phases, there were parts of the existing OB unit that could be occupied safely by staff and patients to accommodate the necessary move.
"This was another example of the way our team and our staff were willing to be flexible during a critical time of need for our hospital, our patients, and our community," adds Perry Gay. "Although it was not ideal for anyone, it was an unforeseen complication that we did our best to work with and work through. I am proud of so many parts of this project, and this is definitely one of them. Everyone involved rose to the challenge to do what was right and what was best for our patients, to care for them safely and effectively."
With the successful completion of the Family Birth Center, Logansport Memorial is shifting focus to another ongoing facility improvement project that will increase and enhance the imaging services provided here at the hospital. A new Breast Center with the region's most advanced 3D mammography machine is set to be open by the end of summer this year. The new suite will be part of the newly consolidated Imaging Services department within the hospital, so that most of the imaging tests and procedures a patient might need for diagnosis or treatment will be easily accessible and located close together. The new Breast Center will have private changing rooms for patients and the 3D mammography machine will offer the latest imaging technology available for detecting breast cancer earlier.
The Logansport Memorial Hospital Foundation once again played a key role in helping to make the Breast Center project possible, with generous funding and support given at the 2019 "Up on the Roof" gala. Invitees to the event were moved to financially support the need for bringing 3D mammography capabilities to Logansport Memorial, and over $70,000 was raised toward the purchase of this equipment.
"We are excited to see the progress continue toward this project, to see the vision realized by our hospital leadership and by our donors for a needed service in our community," comments Vicki Byrd. "It has been challenging to navigate through these projects in the midst of a global pandemic, but our donors and the community have been patient with us through it all. Depending on what safety precautions need to be in place at the time of the new Breast Center opening, we will evaluate whether or not we can safely and responsibly hold an open house to celebrate its completion."
At Logansport Memorial Hospital, "Building Better Health" is more than just a tagline. It embodies how we work to fulfill our mission and vision of serving the patients across north central Indiana with the services and facilities that they not only need, but deserve. As we continue looking to the future, our focus and commitment will not waver from how we can Build Better Health for all of the patients and families who choose and trust us to meet their healthcare needs.