Women’s Services at OVMC/EORH

WHEELING — Ohio Valley Medical Center and East Ohio Regional Hospital, along with East Ohio Regional Outpatient Center — St. Clairsville, are committed to excellence in women’s health with services that can only be found at our facilities.

The year 2016 brought a newly remodeled wing called The Birth Center at OVMC with warm and comforting mother and baby suites that allow for critical bonding time.

The Birth Center at OVMC offers families “The Golden Hour” where mother and child experience uninterrupted skin-to-skin time. Research has shown that this special time increases bonding between the mother and baby and is critical to the baby’s growth and development.

Visitation during this time is limited to the mother, baby, and the mother’s primary support person. During the Golden Hour, healthy newborns are placed in Kangaroo Care, skin-to-skin, immediately following birth and remain there for at least one hour. All immediate care of the newborn including drying, vital signs, and physical assessment will take place while the baby is on the mother’s chest. Weighing, measuring, and bathing will be delayed until after that first hour. The baby will remain with the mother throughout the recovery period.

The Birth Center at OVMC encourages “skin-to-skin” contact where the newborn baby, dressed only in a diaper and hat, is placed directly on mom’s (or mom’s support person’s) chest, and they are covered with warmed blankets. This skin-to-skin contact happens during the Golden Hour and continues to benefit the mother and baby throughout the hospital stay and even at home. Nurses show you how to properly position your baby for safe skin-to-skin bonding. There are many health benefits to skin-to-skin bonding. It helps mothers and babies learn to breastfeed.

Mothers who breastfeed have less bleeding, may lose weight more quickly, and may have a reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease and breast and ovarian cancers. Babies who are breastfed may have a reduced risk of ear infections, allergic illnesses, respiratory infections, gastrointestinal infections, obesity and sudden infant death. All parents are encouraged to room-in with their newborns 24 hours per day. We want you to become familiar with your baby by learning his/her feeding cues as well as their behavior.

The staff at The BirthCenter at OVMC also work closely with Kristy Edie, West Virginia ambassador for Count the Kicks, to help educate expectant mothers on the importance of monitoring their babies’ movements in the third trimester. Edie worked to bring the program locally after she lost her baby in her third trimester of pregnancy.

“While your chances of losing your baby after the first trimester decrease, one out of every 150 pregnancies ends in stillbirth,” said Edie. “Fifty percent of mothers who have lost a baby to stillbirth reported perceived gradual decline in fetal movement several days prior to the death of their baby. Count the Kicks will help you detect any significant changes in your baby’s movements that may indicate potential problems.”

Childbirth educators at The BirthCenter will work with expecting mothers to teach them how to “Count the Kicks” with the guidance of Edie and information established by healthybirthday.org, the parent organization for Count the Kicks.

Sherri Kellas, RN, Women’s Health Nurse Navigator, and Childbirth Educator, says, “By teaming up with Kristy as the new ambassador of the West Virginia Count the Kicks program, we are helping to inform and educate our community about a very simple movement check that moms can do when they are in their third trimester of pregnancy, when they are 28 to 40 weeks pregnant, the last 12 weeks of their pregnancy, to monitor their baby’s well-being and keep their babies safe!”

Kellas continued saying, “It’s as simple as setting aside time each day to relax, lie on your side, and monitor for baby movement. And a movement can be a kick, roll, jab, twist, turn or swish. It is a reassuring sign of baby wellness to feel 10 kicks in a two-hour time period. You should eat and drink something prior to monitoring movement and pick a time when your baby usually is active. If your baby is not making 10 kicks or movements in two hours, you need to call your physician or health care professional.”


In an effort to help prospective parents find hospitals that deliver quality and affordable maternity care, Highmark BCBS West Virginia announced that Ohio Valley Medical Center has been designated as one of the first hospitals to receive the Blue Distinction® Center+ for Maternity Care, a new designation under the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

Nearly 4 million babies are born in the U.S. annually, making childbirth the most common cause of hospitalization. This new Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care program evaluates hospitals on several quality measures, including the percentage of newborns that fall into the category of early elective delivery, an ongoing concern in the medical community. Compared with babies born 39 weeks or later, early term infants face higher risks of infant death and respiratory ailments such as respiratory distress syndrome, pneumonia, and respiratory failure, among other conditions. These babies also have a higher rate of admission to Neonatal Intensive Care Units.

“We at The Birth Center at OVMC take pride and joy in providing you and your baby with exceptional quality care,” said Dr. Lea Harms, obstetrician and gynecologist. “Making you feel welcome, safe, and taken care of from the first time you meet us throughout your delivery, postpartum, and beyond. We are proud to have earned this distinction.”

Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care, an expansion of the national Blue Distinction Specialty Care program, recognizes hospitals for delivering quality, affordable specialty care safely and effectively, based on objective measures developed with input from the medical community. To receive a Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care designation, a hospital must also meet requirements for cost.

In 2016, was the first full year for the Virginia Gasaway Women’s Services program. The new services, named for Virginia Gasaway, a longtime supporter of women and children in the Ohio Valley, includes a concierge service to women at all stages of life. The service provides a convenient way for women to manage their health needs. Through this concierge service, women can now contact our dedicated women’s health navigator. The navigator is a member of the health care team whose sole mission is to guide women through the medical maze stretching out before them.

“This is a coordinated effort to make women’s health seamless in our hospital family at OVMC and EORH,” says Michael J. Caruso, president and CEO of Ohio Valley Health Services and Education Corp.,the parent company of OVMC and EORH.

“Our hospitals have some of the finest OB-GYN specialists and nurses on staff, and they look forward to continuing the highest level of quality care for our patients.”

Women can choose their services, location, and physicians through an online directory available on our website or by calling. Many services, including mammogram, DEXA scan, laboratory testing, and more, will be available at both hospital campuses as well as at our St. Clairsville complex behind Riesbeck’s. You can call to schedule at the location that is most convenient for you.

OVMC is a leader in Breast MRI, as it is the only facility within a 25-mile radius that is a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence in all of the American College of Radiology accreditation programs. These include breast ultrasound, ultrasound buided breast biopsy, mammography, stereotactic Breast biopsy and breast MRI.

To schedule a mammography at East Ohio Regional Hospital Outpatient Center — St. Clairsville, 106 Plaza Drive, call 304-234-8888. The outpatient center also features “Walk-In Tuesday” mammograms where no appointment is necessary.

To learn more about the services offered through the Virginia Gasaway Women’s Services Program log onto www.ovmc-eorh.com or call 888-904-9244 to speak to the Women’s Service Navigator.


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