Women's Health Center opens doors at Fort Hood
May 4, 2011
FORT HOOD, Texas (Army News Service, May 4, 2011) -- The new Women's Health Center at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center opened its doors April 26, 2011, to rave reviews by the many patients, family members and hospital staff who attended the open house celebration.
The 44,000-square-foot addition took about three years to complete at a cost of $20 million and now houses new amenities and upgrades such as private exam rooms and offices along with more spacious labor and delivery rooms.
Maj. Adriena Beatty, an obstetrics and gynecology doctor, said the new facility was designed with the needs and best interest of all their patients in mind.
"This new facility is the result of years of planning, and it's been a long time coming," she said. "We wanted to make this a better personal experience for Soldiers and their families and now we can."
The building will serve as the primary center for women's health for roughly 39,000 TRICARE-eligible family members, Soldiers and retirees of child-bearing age living within 40 miles of Fort Hood.
Co-locating inpatient and outpatient services will help improve continuity of care and reduce the number of patients transferred to other hospitals due to space limitations, Beatty said.
"We have between 5,000 and 6,000 outpatient appointments a month, and we average between 250-300 deliveries per month," she said. "This clinic is bigger and enables us to see more than one patient at a time, which improves our efficiency."
The size of the new clinic isn't the only improvement.
The updated labor, deliver and recovery, or LDR, rooms each have about 400 square feet to better accommodate family members or friends who want to attend the birth. The LDRs also have large bathrooms with easily accessible showers for laboring moms, fold-out chairs for dads or labor assistants, windows for plenty of natural light and wireless internet connections so deployed dads can immediately see their newborns.
That's a big deal said Melanie Benson, a Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, or CRDAMC, midwife.
"Labor and delivery is now airy, light and spacious, which makes a huge difference. The environment is brighter and bigger and more conducive to family care. It boasts more of a team concept and that improves our efficiency," she said. "We've had very positive responses from our patients."
Rochelle Masteller, who gave birth to her daughter, Lilli, at CRDAMC two years ago, agreed with Benson. She was one of many open house attendees who were very impressed with the new clinic.
"The old rooms were so tiny. These LDRs are as big as three of the old rooms," Masteller said. "It looks homey, not like a hospital at all. There is plenty of room for family, too."
Current labor and delivery space will still be used as a triage and treatment area for women who are experiencing complications in the latter part of their pregnancies.
"This new facility is a great asset for the community," said hospital commander Col. Steven E. Braverman. "Not only will we be able to take care of the majority of our patients right here, but we can also do that with many pleasant enhancements and services. I think the women of the Fort Hood community will be very satisfied with this center." he added.