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KRMC’s Maternity Care Center marks one year of deliveries

Andrea Malcom sat in a private room in the neonatal intensive care unit at Kearney Regional Medical Care’s Maternity Care Center last week cuddling her daughter Baylee. Born eight weeks early on Dec. 19, Baylee weighed just three pounds, six ounces then. Now, nearly four weeks later, she is up to four pounds nine ounces.

The cozy, peaceful afternoon is the antithesis of Jan. 16. 2017, the day the Maternity Care Center opened. A blizzard was battering Kearney that day. “I came in, but the whole town was shut down,” Patty Schulte, R.N., said.

No babies were born that day, or that night, or the next day, either. Six days later, at 3:24 a.m. Jan. 22, Dr. Keri Philpot delivered the center’s first baby, Elias Allen Michael Barker, son of Jillana and Travis Barker of Broken Bow. Since then, it’s been busy.

One month later, on Feb. 26, the first set of twins was born. The first set of triplets arrived on April 27-28. Two of them were born April 27; the third came right after midnight April 28. The busiest month was August, when 64 babies were born. The busiest week came in October, with 20 births. The unit’s 500th delivery happened Nov. 19. By December, 561 births were recorded for 2017, including 248 girls and 313 boys.

Since then, 21 more infants were born at KRMC. As of Jan. 16, the end of its first year, 582 babies had been born in the 19,000 square-foot unit of the hospital at 804 22nd Avenue. That’s almost 20 percent more than what hospital administrators projected for the first year. This year, 600 births are expected.

“It’s gone really well this first year, as smoothly as possible,” Maternity Services Manager Dani Peisiger, R.N., said. A nurse for 12 years, she joined the unit four months before it opened to work on policies and procedures, hire the staff and oversee training.

The maternity wing, part of a $40 million KRMC expansion that included an emergency department, an intensive care area and a helicopter pad, has a separate entrance on the hospital’s southeast corner. It has 10 spacious, private labor and delivery rooms, two antepartum rooms, a surgery room and two on-call rooms for doctors. Its four-room, Level II neonatal intensive care unit is licensed for eight infants.

Mothers labor and deliver in one bed. There is no nursery; newborns stay in bassinets in their mothers’ rooms. “Babies never leave their mothers’ sides now,” Peisiger said. “We believe in skin-to-skin care. If mothers need a break, we’re happy to cuddle with those babies. It’s the best part of our job.”

The department’s 45-member staff includes lactation counselor Victoria DuPreez, unit secretary/notary Charity Marr and maternity educator Tanya Sandoval. Its 35 nurses have a combined 153 years of experience.

Also happy with the unit is Sara Fecht of Kearney, the hospital’s nursing services assistant who graduated last May from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She had done a human relations internship at KRMC during college and accepted the job the day she received her diploma. She works all over the hospital, but as the Maternity Care Center prepared to open, Fecht wrote policies and designed crib cards and footprint cards. She also schedules the staff.

“I love it here. I always wanted to help people. This is totally where I wanted to be,” she said. “I look at the nurses. They’re a different breed. I notice how well the staff works together, how happy they are. The patients are happy. They just want to hold their babies. I’ve found family here.”

That echoes what Peisiger says: “We have such good teamwork. People pitch in wherever they’re needed. It’s all hands on deck.”

Peisiger was on hand when the triplets were delivered last April after 32.5 weeks of gestation. For that event, 20 people crowded into the delivery room, including a pediatrician and NICU nurse for each baby, and 14 others. “It went like clockwork,” Peisiger said. “When I see processes like that, I know what we’re capable of.”

Malcom, who spends five to seven hours each day in the NICU with Baylee, likes the fact that she can be so hands-on with her newborn and help with baths and feedings. “Everyone here goes above and beyond the call of duty for my comfort,” she said. Her husband John appreciates that, too.

Dr. Philpott, who delivered the center’s first baby a year ago, said her patients appreciate the big rooms, kind nurses and its separate entrance. She said three patients who delivered there last year are expecting again and plan to come back in 2018.

“The nurses and staff throughout the entire hospital are very competent and kind. They love their jobs and where they work, and it shows. In the end, it’s the people who make the difference,” she said.

Dana Wright, the hospital’s marketing coordinator, said the Maternity Care Center has helped facilitate a relationship with our Kearney pediatricians and attracted a younger crowd of patients. “It has also increased our overall patient volume. We are seeing patients come here for more than just delivering babies.”

For Fecht, the center is one of her favorite parts of the hospital. She has seen nurses pass out crayons to siblings of newborns. “The doctors are willing to teach and guide. I’ve never seen them get frustrated or upset. Doctors never ask nurses to do anything they wouldn’t do. I’ve seen nurses sit and talk to patients for two hours. This isn’t just a job for them. It’s a passion.”

Added Peisiger, “Mothers who want to see the unit can simply call and come over for a tour. Where mothers deliver is their choice. We just want healthy babies.”

Kearney Hub Staff Writer

First baby of 2018 born to Overton couple

The city’s first baby of 2018 came not on Jan. 1, but Jan. 2. Lennuxe Hazel DeTurk, daughter of Jarod and Kaylinda DeTurk of Overton, was delivered via a scheduled caesarean section at 7:41 a.m. Tuesday at Kearney Regional Medical Center.

A few hours later, she was snuggling in her mother’s arms. A little gold ribbon circled her dark hair, and matching gold slippers kept her feet warm. The baby, weighing 7 pounds, 3 ounces and measuring nearly 21 inches long, is a little sister to brother Lawson, who turned 2 on Dec. 17.

A few hours after his sister was born, Lawson was lifted onto the bed to see his new sister. “He likes babies,” his mother said. “He kept saying, ‘baby.’”

“She looks like her brother did when he was born,” Jarod said. He is a crop consultant with his business, DeTurk Agronomics. Kaylinda is a consultant for Younique, a direct sales firm that sells make-up.

The DeTurks were surprised that Lennuxe was Kearney’s first baby of 2018. Kaylinda’s due date was Jan. 6, but the C-section was scheduled for the morning of Jan. 2. The obstetrician was Dr. Amie J. Jorgensen of Contemporary Obstetrics & Gynecology at 101 W. 24th St.

Grandparents of the new baby are Steve and Deanne DeTurk of Amherst and Cletus and Sherri Holmes of Minden. The infant’s middle name, Hazel, was the middle name of the great-grandmothers of each of her parents. Both great-grandmothers are deceased.

Lennuxe is among the nearly 600 babies that have been born at Kearney Regional since its maternity care center opened last Jan. 21, according to Dana Wright, the hospital’s marketing coordinator. Three more babies were born there Tuesday.

CHI Health Good Samaritan delivered its first baby of 2018 at 1:56 a.m. today. Isla Anne Hall, daughter of Nick and Sharayah Hall of Gibbon, was delivered by Dr. Gina Torpin. The baby weighed 7 pounds 12 ounces and is 21½ inches long.

Kearney Hub Staff Writer

Kearney Regional Medical Center delivers 100th baby

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Barrett Hunt can be forgiven for being unimpressed with recognition as the 100th baby born at Maternity Care Center of Kearney Regional Medical Center.

When Barrett made his debut at 8:03 p.m. Wednesday, his mother, Megan, was neck in neck with another laboring mother to have the 100th baby. According to nurse Patty Perry it was a close call.

“It was actually funny because Megan wanted to be the 100th, and the other mom was hoping to be 101 because that number is part of their business. It was a close call to see if both moms made their goal,” she said.

Hunt was thrilled, despite 16 hours of labor, that her son received the honor.
His father, Branden had a grin from ear to ear as he held his son in front of the information board with the number written out.
“We couldn’t be more proud. We’re excited to take him home,” he said.
When the couple toured the facility before the birth, Branden liked how the rooms were designed with fathers in mind.

“I could help out when she needed to shower or rest and still spend time with Barrett,” he said.

The 7-pound 3-ounce baby boy is the first child for the Sumner couple. The proud mom said she was very impressed with the state-of-the-art maternity wing and couldn’t have asked for anything else.

Registered Nurse Julie Hesseltine, a nurse for 30 years said the center has been busy birthing babies since opening day on Jan. 16. There have been several times when the center has been at full capacity.

“The center was built with plans to expand in the future, but my joke yesterday was, ‘When are we building the expansion?’ even though we opened in January.”

As of Saturday, the facility was up to 106 newborns and counting.

By Heather Riggleman
Kearney Hub Staff Writer


Kearney Regional ready for babies

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Kearney Regional Medical Center’s Maternity Care Center boasts the latest in technology.

“We are excited about the expansion and the ability to serve the Kearney area and surrounding community,” Director of Support Services Travis Gregg said as he gave tours Thursday.

The new maternity center will have an open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today (Saturday). Tours will be conducted, and light refreshments will be served.

Doors open Monday to patients.
The maternity wing is part of a $40 million expansion on the south side of the hospital at 804 22nd Ave. Construction began in October 2015.

The physician-managed hospital also added 23 patient rooms, six Intensive Care Unit beds, and an Emergency Department, which includes five beds. The expansion included a maintenance building and helicopter pad.

The Maternity Care Center has its own entrance.

“The center is peaceful, relaxing, and everything a birthing mom and medical staff needs is at our fingertips,” Registered Nurse and Maternity Services Manager Dani Peisiger said.

With 12 years of experience, the Kearney nurse says she’s looking forward to being a part of birth stories again. She came on board in September and said she’s been anxiously awaiting for the center to open.

“The unit was designed to give laboring mothers the best care, which includes large rooms, bathrooms with spa features with relaxing lighting, jetted tubs and rainhead showers, she said.

However the wing does not include a nursery to encourage rooming in. Rooming in after birth is when a newborn stays in the room with his or her mother instead of going to the hospital’s nursery.

“Rooming in allows moms to bond with their babies and adds an additional step of security. Of course, we understand some moms are just exhausted, and we’re happy to cuddle with those babies. It’s the best part of our job,” Peisiger said.

The rooms include a sofa that can be converted to a bed for new dads or other family members.

“The rooms also have an added step of security. A nurse must unlock the doors for parents to enter and when parents exit the room,” Peisiger said.

The 19,000-square-foot Maternity Care Center is staffed with 30 employees, has a gift shop, 10 labor and delivery rooms, two antepartum rooms, a spa tub for antepartum care, a surgery room, two on-call rooms for doctors and a four-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with state-of-the-art-technology, including a wireless telemetry monitor compared to the traditional method of fetal monitoring with belly bands.

“These units allow us to monitor a baby’s vitals, helping moms to be more mobile,” she said.

The NICU has state-of-the-art isolettes for infants.

“For babies who need a little help after birth, they can go to the NICU to rest and grow. We have the latest in technology isolettes that allow us to take care of the preemies a number of ways with little disruption,” Peisiger said.

Giraffe Isolettes in the unit create a stable and controlled environment.

“We can monitor their vital signs, administer light therapy for jaundice, take X-rays, check their weight without the baby ever leaving the isolette,” RN Jamie Cummings said.

The Maternity Care Center includes a nourishment center, a waiting area and a registration area.

“Because we have our own entrance, moms don’t have to register at the main registration center of the hospital. Moms can come here to be checked for any concerns without having to be admitted to the hospital,” Peisiger said.

She said she looks forward to opening day and has been giving tours to community members and expecting moms, “Monday can’t come soon enough,” Peisiger said.

By Heather Riggleman
Kearney Hub Writer