YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea -- Many hospitals provide a facility called a Stork's Nest. This refers to a temporary home for soon-to-be mothers approaching their final stages of pregnancy. Such facilities allow mothers, living far from hospitals to remain close to immediate labor care, while waiting for labor to start.

At U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan, the Brian Allgood Army Community Hospital provides three Stork's Nest facilities that are open to pregnant patients living outside of Area II. But in August 2011, due to mold issues, they were shut down. Ever since then, the Directorate of Public Works conducted several projects, to eliminate the hygiene issues. In December 2011, one of the three facilities was reopened. To showcase the progress of the renovations, BAACH invited the wives of high ranking officials to observe each of its facilities, Feb. 1.

As the honored guests visited each of the facilities, Staff Sgt. Justin Due, the Stork's Nest Coordinator, explained the facilities. Due stated that USAG Yongsan had three facilities that offered a total of eleven "comfort amenities." These comfort amenities each contained furniture, a bed, a television and a restroom. The Stork's Nest facilities also offered a kitchen, laundry room and utility closet with a vacuum.

These services are offered for free to any pregnant patient at 39 weeks gestation, currently living outside of Area II, and available for admission to BAACH. Due emphasized, however, that services were offered on a first-come-first-serve basis, and that people would only be able to use the facility if it was currently available.

"The Stork's Nest is a comfort amenity not a lodging place, and is a charity organization not an entitlement," stated Due. "While we do welcome anyone who is eligible to use the facility, there are times when we cannot offer services simply because it is not available."

Due added, however, that the Stork's Nest was always flexible and willing to make adjustments in order to match the needs of patients, when the comfort amenities were available.

"We had a couple who came in a few days early during the Lunar New Year to avoid traffic issues," explained Due. "We are able to make accommodations like that."

As Due escorted the guests to each of the facilities, the guests expressed their support and approval through many active questions and comments. Due reminded that final renovations for the Stork's Nests would be completed by late March. Until then, five comfort amenities would be available to patients on a first-come-first-serve basis at building S4030, by the Dragon Hill Lodge.

To check for availability contact Staff Sgt. Justin Due at 010-5351-9982.