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MMC-Eau Claire more than doubles beds in its birthing center

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April 29, 2024

EAU CLAIRE – At Marshfield Medical Center-Eau Claire (MMC-Eau Claire), Chief Nursing Officer Gina Leath said the staff takes pride in providing the best care possible to patients.

That’s why, she said, the center recently more than doubled its beds in its birthing center, bumping the number up from eight to 20.

“In the wake of the recent hospital closures in the area, we recognized the immediate need of serving our community with our expectant moms,” she said. “The hospitals that closed had a significant number of births at that facility, and with that being close to us, we recognized we needed to add more beds… to accommodate at least more than 500 births.”

As other hospitals were making the difficult decision to close, MMC-Eau Claire President Brad Groseth said the Marshfield Clinic Health System made the decision to take the steps needed to increase its labor and delivery capacity at its Eau Claire location.

“We know the importance of having a comfortable space with high quality staff and resources to deliver their child to families in the area.”

With the addition of the beds, Leath said, came an addition of staff. 

“We were able to hire experienced staff in addition to our already experienced staff, so moms can feel reassured and have that security that they have a safe place to deliver their child here,” she said. 

Groseth said U.S. News & World Report recently named MMC-Eau Claire on its list of “High Performing Hospitals” for maternity care access.

The hospital, he said, had 446 births in 2023.

Leath said the Eau Claire center had already seen increases in births.

“We have more than doubled our volume of OB patients on a month-to-month basis since the recent hospital closures,” she said. “We’ve seen that increase.”

Calming atmosphere

The MMC-Eau Claire birthing center, Leath said, provides a positive environment for expecting mothers.

“It’s a beautiful unit – it provides a calm, healing atmosphere for the moms and families,” she said.

The center, Leath said, has two units available – the labor unit and the special care nursery for babies who need additional support.

According to Marshfield Medical Center’s website (marshfieldclinic.org), each patient may have two visitors during labor and delivery (which must remain the same throughout) with open visitation pre- and post-delivery for those 12 and older.

In addition to the birthing center, Leath said the Eau Claire location also has new women’s health suites aimed at making the birthing experience a positive one for moms and babies.

“Once they deliver, and after that post-op period of delivery, they will go to our new women’s health suites… an additional 12-bet unit we opened,” she said. “It’s a beautiful environment for moms and babies to start that bonding experience (and) with their families (as well).”

The center, Leath said, also has an inpatient care International Board Certified Lactation CounselorⓇ on staff.

“(The) lactation consultation will help new moms with any type of breastfeeding support,” she said. “We have (other) special-trained staff. We have physicians and a nurse-midwifery team who are experienced also available.”

Leath said Marshfield Medical Center also has expanded its midwifery care to its Chippewa Falls center.

Expanded services, same expert care

An addition of beds, Leath said, doesn’t mean more sporadic care.

In fact, she said, it’s quite the opposite.

“(Moms can) look forward to the same level of care with our experienced staff,” she said. “With the additional beds we have created, we’ve been able to provide continuity of care to the expectant moms and their providers.”

And, as Leath said previously, it all comes down to Marshfield Medical Center taking care of its community to the best of its ability.

“We have expanded our beds to more than accommodate the needs in our community for obstetrical services,” she said. “We are here for our community and anticipate the continued increase in volume.”

Interim Marshfield Clinic Health System CEO Brian Hoerneman MMC remains committed to exploring ways in which it can best serve western Wisconsin and explore new ways in which it can partner with the community.

“Health systems in the Chippewa Valley and beyond have faced significant headwinds over the past several years,” he said. “We remain committed to overcoming those challenges and continuing our mission of providing affordable and compassionate care for our patients and families in the region.”

TBN
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