Fletcher Allen Health Care Dedicates New Birthing Center

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Fletcher Allen Health Care Dedicates New Birthing Center

Mon, 05/10/2004 - 8:00pm -- tim

Fletcher Allen Health Care
introduced the Claire M. Lintilhac Birthing Center on the seventh floor of
the McClure Building. The center, which will provide a more spacious,
comfortable and pleasing birthing environment for women and families
throughout the area, will officially open for patients on May 23rd. The
new center marks the completion of the inaugural component of Fletcher
Allen's Renaissance Project.
The birthing center was dedicated in honor of Claire M.
Lintilhac -- the woman who helped introduce nurse-midwifery to the
academic health center and who dedicated her life to the belief that all
women are entitled to expert and empathetic care.
"A person of great compassion and vision, Claire Lintilhac was
instrumental in bringing a hospital-based midwifery service to our
academic health center in the late 1960s to serve the women of our
community," said Fletcher Allen President and Chief Executive Officer
Melinda Estes, M.D. "By naming this new birthing center in her honor, we
are commemorating her dedication to perinatal care and paying tribute to
her energy and spirit, reminding us all that one person really can make a
difference."
During Sunday's dedication ceremony, Fletcher Allen also
recognized the generosity of the Lintilhac Foundation, which is
providing a $500,000 gift to Fletcher Allen. Since 1977, when Mrs.
Lintilhac established the foundation, it has made a number of
significant contributions to expand Fletcher Allen's nurse-midwifery
program, which was renamed the Claire M. Lintilhac Nurse-Midwifery
Service in 1992, in appreciation. Today, the Claire M. Lintilhac
Nurse-Midwifery Service employs seven certified nurse-midwives.
Key features of the birthing center
Approximately 2,200 babies are born at Fletcher Allen every year. The
Claire M. Lintilhac Birthing Center serves women with a variety of
interests and needs -- from uncomplicated deliveries to the most high-risk
cases. Key features of the new birthing center include:
* Larger rooms to better accommodate women and their care team
during labor, delivery and just after birth.
* A wireless, waterproof fetal monitoring system, which allows the
patient to walk freely around the unit, or labor in the tub, while the
baby is being monitored.
* A visitor's lounge which includes a television, comfortable
seating and a port for Internet access.
* Ample space for women to walk around the unit during labor, and a
more efficient working environment for caregivers.
* Two procedure rooms for Cesarean births or multiple births,
each one-and-a-half-times larger than the existing rooms.
* Proximity to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The new
center is located adjacent to the NICU, providing immediate access in
critical care situations.
* A room specially equipped with a water-birth tub for water
births.
* Deep soaking tubs in all labor, delivery and recovery rooms.
* A labor lounge with fantastic views of Lake Champlain and the
Adirondack Mountains.
* Two labor, delivery and recovery rooms outfitted with Fletcher
Allen's new Deaf-Talk system, an electronic interpreter service for the
hearing impaired, the first of its kind in Vermont. The service is
available to patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Colorful wall hangings and a soothing environment
The birthing center was designed with patient comfort in mind. Each
room includes a warm color palette and large windows, with medical
equipment hidden from view.
Each room also will include a colorful wall hanging donated by
Chris and April Cornell, owners of April Cornell and Cornell Trading.
April Cornell also has donated copies of her new magazine, "The Art of The
Everyday," for new mothers, in addition to a copy of her book, "April at
Home," for the Birthing Center visitor's lounge.
Adorning the walls throughout the Birthing Center are
photographs of new moms, babies, new dads and new families. Deborah
Kehoe of Kehoe & Kehoe Design designed the photography display and also
donated her time to coordinate the art contributions for the center.
"The photographs and wall hangings bring a sense of warmth,
care and comfort to families," said Kehoe, who's daughter, Livia, was born
at Fletcher Allen five years ago. "They help to create a positive
home-like environment that will be soothing for patients."
About Claire M. Lintilhac
Claire M. Lintilhac (1899-1984) was raised in China, the daughter of
medical missionaries. After completing her nursing training at the
Shanghai Municipal Hospital, Mrs. Lintilhac worked in rural and coastal
China for 17 years as a private-duty nurse and midwife, often the only
practitioner of Western health care in the region.
In the 1950s, Mrs. Lintilhac moved to the United States with her family,
eventually settling in Stowe, Vermont. In the late 1960s, Mrs. Lintilhac
worked with Dr. John Van Sicklen Maeck, then chairman of the OB/GYN
Department at the Mary Fletcher Hospital, to incorporate nurse-midwifery
into the practice of obstetrics in the Women's Health Care Service at
Fletcher Allen.
About the Renaissance Project
In addition to the Claire M. Lintilhac Birthing Center, Fletcher Allen's
Renaissance Project includes a new Ambulatory Care Center -- an outpatient
care center that allows patients access to specialized services in one
location -- an expanded emergency department, a new surgery center with
eight additional operating suites, an inpatient mental health facility, a
new central plant, and a new 1,200-space underground parking garage.
Combined with a joint Education Center, constructed in collaboration with
the University of Vermont College of Medicine, the project creates the
state's first and only integrated patient care and academic health
sciences campus.