York Central Hospital Opens New Family Birthing Centre and Ontario's First Full-time, On-site Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic in a Community Hospital Setting

    RICHMOND HILL, ON, April 23 /CNW/ - Today, York Central Hospital is
pleased to open its new $ 3.4 million Family Birthing Centre. Over the past
eight years, the Hospital has experienced a 50 percent increase in the number
of births. Last year York Central Hospital helped to welcome 2,400 babies to
our community; with the opening of the new Family Birthing Centre the hospital
will be able to accommodate up to 3,200 births a year.
    "The birth of a baby is one of life's milestone events. Today we are
proud to open a new facility that will help us to fulfill our commitment to
provide state-of-the-art pre and postnatal care to expectant parents and their
families in one of Canada's fastest growing communities, now and in the
foreseeable future," says Hospital President and CEO.
    The New Family Birthing Centre includes eight Birthing Suites, two
Operating Suites, a Triage Area and Fetal Assessment Room, a Neonatal
Resuscitation Room and Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic. The new Birthing Suites
will feature home-like décor, private ensuite bathrooms, and greater space for
fathers and other family members to enjoy the birth experience.
    "As we prepared for the opening of this new centre, our hospital has also
invested in enhanced pre natal care for mothers and their unborn babies. I am
proud to announce that York Central Hospital is now the first community
hospital in Ontario to have a full-time, on-site Maternal Fetal Medicine
Service including a Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist, 3D/4D Ultrasound
Technology and a Pediatric Cardiologist with expertise in fetal
echocardiography to care for high-risk pregnancies," Dr. Ford Luk, the
hospital's Clinical Director and Chief of Obstetrics.

    New Centre Provides One-Stop Convenience for Expectant Mothers and Their

    With the opening of the new Family Birthing Centre, the hospital's
birthing and postnatal care services are now located in one convenient
location for both expectant parents and their families. No longer will women
have to be transferred from the second to the fifth floor after giving birth.
Now expectant mothers and their partners will go directly to the fifth floor
where their babies will be born and they will remain on this same level for
their care until mom and baby are ready to be discharged.
    The Official Opening Ceremony at 2 p.m. today will be hosted by Hospital
President Bruce Harber, with special guests Oak Ridges MPP Frank Klees and
Deputy Mayor Brenda Hogg of the Town of Richmond Hill along with Hospital
Board Chair, David Weldon, Foundation Chair Greg Miklas, Dr. Ford Luk,
Clinical Director and Chief of Obstetrics, Dr. Gerald Friedman, Clinical
Director and Chief of Pediatrics, and Birthing Centre Nurse Rita Goodhoofd.

    Woman and Child Program

    The Family Birthing Centre is part of the Woman and Child Program at York
Central Hospital. The program offers expert and compassionate care for mothers
and their babies before, during and after birth. Other program areas include a
Genetics Clinic, Healthy Babies/Healthy Children Screening, an Inpatient
Breastfeeding Clinic, Maternal Fetal Medicine Service, Pre and Postnatal
Education, and a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. With all of these services
under one roof, the Woman and Child Program offers convenience and superior
continuity of care.

    About York Central Hospital

    Located in the heart of one of Canada's fastest growing urban areas, York
Central Hospital is a 426-bed acute care hospital that serves more than
400,000 residents in Southwest York Region and beyond. The Hospital is pleased
to have begun construction on Phase One of a $150 million major expansion and
renovation which will dramatically increase its ability to provide enhanced
access and further reduce waiting times in this growing community. The
Hospital is currently seeking approval for Phase Two of its Redevelopment
scheduled to begin in 2009 upon completion of Phase One.

For further information:

For further information: Melina Cormier, Director, Public Affairs, (905)
883-1212 Ext. 7492, mcormier@yorkcentral.on.ca; Sheri DeCarlo, Public Affairs
Officer, (905) 883-1212 Ext. 7499, sdecarlo@yorkcentral.on.ca

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