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Maternity wing to pamper new mothers

New mothers will enjoy more modern surroundings starting later this spring when they deliver in the newly revamped obstetrics and gynecology wing at Inter-Community Memorial Hospital.

Work began last November on a $500,000 makeover that is expected to wrap up by late April.

Two spacious new rooms in the OB/GYN wing will be devoted to labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum care, each with a bathroom and shower. There also will be a nursery and two private rooms and one semi-private room for surgical patients.

The number of rooms will be the same but more updated.

The hospital is holding several events to help offset the cost of the project, hospital spokeswoman Caroline Moore said.

And early next month, the hospital auxiliary will donate $50,000 to the project.

On Friday, 30 supporters took to rocking chairs in the hospital to raise $4,000 in the auxiliary's first "Rocking for Babies" event, collecting pledges for minutes spent in the chairs.

Newfane Elementary School Principal Kathy Nagel was among the rockers. Newfane schools contributed $1,000 of the total.

Registered nurse Shirley Srock, maternity coordinator for the hospital, remembers when mothers were moved to different rooms for labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum care.

"Now," she said, "we won't have to move the patient when she is in the most difficult part of labor onto a cart to the delivery room and then move her again. This increases the comfort level for the mother."

About 120 babies are born each year at Inter-Community Memorial, Srock said.

The new arrangements also will be more comfortable for family members attending the birth, said Dr. Prayoon Prabharasuth, the hospital's obstetrician/gynecologist.

"Having the family there is very important," he said. "And we have everything here that the big hospitals have, but we have one-on-one nurse-to-patient care."

Dr. Prabharasuth has been delivering babies at the Newfane hospital and Lockport Memorial Hospital for more than 30 years.

There have not been any substantial changes made to the OB/GYN wing in Inter-Community since the hospital was built in 1958, hospital officials said.

"Our staff has been very excited since the hospital decided to take on this renovation project," Srock said. "We've even had a couple of hospital staff members who are pregnant inquire when we would be open, so that they can have one of these rooms."

Existing rooms have been rearranged to temporarily accommodate patients' needs while construction has been under way beyond a closed door.

The old OB/GYN wing was basically "gutted," said Rodney Phillips, project superintendent for Lamparelli Construction Co. of Cheektowaga. "And then," he said, "we started over."

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