From left, Stettler Mayor Sean Nolls, Tom Campbell (treasurer of the Stettler Health Services Foundation) Diane Palmer (site manager), MLA Nate Horner and Stettler County Reeve Larry Clarke pose during the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new labour and delivery suites at the Stettler Hospital and Care Centre. Mark Weber/Stettler Independent

Community marks the completion of the second phase of the renovation project at Stettler Hospital

Two new labour and delivery suites opened Feb. 6th, replacing the previous one room

A special event was held Feb. 14th to mark the completion of the second phase of the renovation project at Stettler Hospital and Care Centre.

Two new labour and delivery suites opened Feb. 6th, replacing the previous one room.

The new suites allow moms to stay in the same space for labour, delivery and postpartum care for the duration of their stay, with more privacy, comfort and security, officials say.

This portion of the project is the second of three phases in the $9.3 million project.

“We are thrilled with the improvements to our hospital so far – with more still to come,” said Diane Palmer, site manager with the Stettler Hospital and Care Centre. “We know that these labour and delivery upgrades will improve the experience for moms, and they will provide a superior environment for the healthcare team to care for their patients,” she said.

“Being able to be in that room with your family and not have to move out of that room is really a standard of practice,” she noted of the upgrades. “Now, we also have total security,” she said. “It’s just outstanding. And with the help of the Foundation, they’ve given us a lot of equipment that we didn’t have.”

Feedback thus far has also been tremendous. “The doctors are thrilled and the nurses and staff love it, too,” said Palmer. “The families that have been in there are ecstatic as well.”

Funding for the three-phase renovation project comes from the Province’s Infrastructure and Maintenance program.

The first phase, which wrapped up last October, included the creation of the new pharmacy and gift shop as well as modifications to the cafeteria.

The third phase of the renovations, slated to begin next month, will see upgrades to the emergency department.

These will include adding three stretchers, two treatment chairs and installing an area which will be more private for people in crisis.

Palmer said those upgrades will hopefully be completed by the end of this year or by early 2021.

“All services from the hospital will all be the same – we will provide everything,” she said of the ongoing stretch of renovations.

Meanwhile, equipment and furnishings for the new labour and delivery suites were provided by the Stettler Health Services Foundation, which continues to raise funds to support the project.

“The Foundation is so grateful to the community for supporting parents as they welcome new babies to their families,” said Leona Thorogood, Foundation chair.

“Our residents have provided modernized equipment and comfortable furnishings for moms in labour, and Stettler continues to step up with support for the renovations.”

Palmer agreed. “I can’t say enough about this community – they are very generous.”

To date, the Foundation has raised $250,000 for renovations with plans to raise an additional $400,000 for the purchase of emergency department equipment.

“I’m thrilled to see the completion of two new labour and delivery suites at Stettler Hospital,” said Nate Horner, MLA for Drumheller-Stettler.

“This is a great investment in our community that will allow mothers in and around Stettler to receive more high-quality and timely maternity care,” he said. “I can’t thank the Stettler Health Services Foundation enough for its tremendous and ongoing efforts in making this project a reality.

“Health Foundations like the one here in Stettler make our community strong.”

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