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MATERNITY CARE Where all the rooms are luxury suites



Published: Fri, February 4, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



When this center opens, obstetric services will end at Northside.

BOARDMAN -- The first baby born at Forum Health's new Women & amp; Infant's Pavilion will make an appearance sometime over Mother's Day weekend.

Forum Health executives announced Thursday that the $18 million facility at Beeghly Medical Park is nearly complete. Forum will transfer its maternity center to the Boardman location in May, a move that they say makes sense because they'll be closer to where the majority of the area's new mothers live.

About 1,700 babies were delivered at Forum Health's Northside Medical Center in Youngstown last year, officials said. When the pavilion opens, obstetric services will end at Northside. Forum expects more than 2,000 births a year at the new location.

The new three-story pavilion is a freestanding hospital with advanced equipment and cutting-edge technology, said Forum Health President and Chief Executive Officer M. Kristopher Hoce.

Five-year plan

The maternity center is the first step in Forum's five-year, $102 million expansion plan. Next up: expansion of the emergency department at Trumbull Memorial Hospital in Warren.

For now, though, the focus at Forum is on babies, and the new hospital is designed to bring them into the world in an atmosphere that one executive said rivals a luxury hotel.

"Soft, beautiful colors -- no pinks and blues," said Michael Cicchillo, chief administrative officer at Beeghly Medical Park. "No visiting hours, room service any time you want it, a quiet environment -- this is a Ritz-Carlton kind of experience."

Rooms at the pavilion evoke a homelike feeling, Cicchillo said. When expectant mothers arrive, they're taken to a room where medical tools and electronics are shielded by pleasing artwork. They go through labor and delivery without moving from room to room, he said. Children can visit and each patient room will be Internet capable.

"Everything we'd done has been done from the point of view of the patient and the newborn," Cicchillo said.

Full range of services

The facility will offer a full range of neonatal services, with the ability to care for infants at 24 weeks.

"You will not find anything like this in the state of Ohio," said Dr. Tom Zarlingo, who practices perinatology at the hospital. "I think the community will be not just impressed with this hospital and the level of care -- I think they'll be astounded."

New mothers won't pay more for services at the facility, Cicchillo said. Rates will remain the same as at Northside.




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