FOREST HILLS, NY – First-time mom Delisa Meerabux was pleasantly surprised with the homey atmosphere of her recently renovated post-partum room at Forest Hills Hospital.
“I was shocked when I saw the room,” said the 23-year-old Suffolk County woman. “I was expecting to see a crowded hospital room with three or four beds and just curtains to separate.”
Instead, Delisa had plenty of space in her two-patient room for her family and friends to come and visit with her newborn son Samir. And, doting new dad Gregory Kelly Jr., had a comfy recliner chair in which to hold and feed the couples’ son.
The welcoming accommodations are part of a major expansion of Forest Hills Hospital’s OB/GYN unit. Over the next two years, the unit will take over the third floor, which currently also houses the Radiology Department. Radiology will be moving to the second floor.
The $8.2 million project includes patient room renovations and equipment upgrades allowing the hospital’s level 2 neonatal intensive care unit to better care for babies born at greater than 32 weeks gestation or who are recovering from more serious conditions.
Like Delisa’s room, the post-partum rooms that now have three patient beds will be transformed into single and two-patient rooms. The change will provide a greater degree of privacy for recuperating moms as they bond with their newborns, interact with health care providers, and receive visitors and sleep.
Presently, the OB/GYN unit has 18 patient beds, which will increase to 23 when the work is finished sometime in 2017.
“The new design will serve about the same number of patients, but with much better accommodations,” said Orlando Santandreu, MD, who took over as head of obstetrics and gynecology at Forest Hills last year.
“There’s a nurturing feeling to have one-to-one nursing and to recover in a peaceful setting,” he added.
In recent years, the number of labor and delivery patients at the community hospital has been approximately 2,000, with the numbers steadily increasing.