Crowd celebrates new maternal-fetal medicine center
It’s all smiles as the staff of the maternal-fetal medicine diagnostic and treatment center celebrates the grand opening of the Center on Friday, May 2, 2008. Pictured here are (back row, from left) Elmar Sakala, MD, perinatologist; Marian Llaguno, RN; Carmen Ibarra, MA; Sheryl Gorman, RN; Judi Nightingale, DrPH, RN; Melinda Williams, RN; Denise Cummins, RN; Lida Salcedo, RN; Toni Herrera, MSW; Eva Sandoval, MA; Christina Franks, PBO; and Barry Block, MD, perinatologist; (front row, from left) Dorsella McField, MA; Lydia Medina-Lara, MA; Juli Jojola, MA; Jamie Sagebiel, RN; Bryan T. Oshiro, MD, perinatologist; and Yvonne Gollin, MD, perinatologist.
More than 550 people crowded the waiting area, exam rooms, and hallways of the newly relocated and renovated maternal-fetal medicine diagnostic and treatment center (MFM) during grand opening ceremonies on Friday, May 2.
According to Judi Nightingale, DrPH, RN, nurse manager of the center, the MFM is part of the Perinatal Institute of Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital and was originally located in a temporary space in the Faculty Medical Offices across from the Medical Center.
“It was always the plan to move into a newly remodeled space,” Dr. Nightingale notes. “Suite 3400 had been used as a compilation of different offices until it was renovated for use as the maternal fetal medicine center.”
The maternal-fetal medicine center is a hospital-based ambulatory patient care program that uses a multi-disciplinary approach to provide comprehensive diagnosis, treatment, and management of high-risk complicated pregnancies within a single, family-oriented center. Experts in radiology, cardiology, genetics, neonatology, and other pediatric specialties collaborate together to deliver the best outcomes for mother and baby.
The maternal-fetal medicine center serves women who:
• Are at risk for, or have, a fetus with chromosomal abnormalities;
• Have a child, or are carrying a fetus, with birth defects;
• Have a family history of birth defects;
• Are carriers of, or have a partner who is a carrier of, a known genetic disorder;
• Had a previous complicated pregnancy;
• Are at risk for high-risk pregnancy due to pre-eclampsia, pre-term labor, cervical insufficiency, or placental absorption or previa;
• Have a serious medical condition such as renal failure, insulin-dependent diabetes, or heart disease;
• Are exposed to dangerous substances during pregnancy; or
• Are carrying multiple gestations.
Additional services provided to patients of the maternal-fetal medicine center include individualized nurse case management, lactation, dietician and bereavement support, social work, and the Just for Moms and Sweet Success programs.
The maternal-fetal medicine center conducts multidisciplinary perinatal research in several areas including the prevention of premature births. The maternal-fetal medicine clinic is also a participant in a Multi-Center National Institute of Health Prospective Study, which will soon begin collecting data starting with the prenatal period through 21 years of age.
The renovations to suite 3400 began in August 2007 and concluded this April. The larger spaces in the new center were sorely needed: last year, the maternal-fetal medicine center served approximately 2,700 patients. The new location offers two additional exam rooms and one more each of ultrasound rooms, antenatal testing beds, consultation room, and conference room. Each of the additions was designed to enhance patient flow and convenience.
“All of our patients have commented on how much more comfortable the chairs and exam tables are,” Dr. Nightingale reports. “Everyone also comments on how beautiful the décor is. The staff is thrilled. They can’t believe how clean and beautiful everything is. They love having so much storage and the extra exam rooms.”
Dr. Nightingale attributes the huge turnout to the diligent efforts of Kelly Jackson, senior marketing executive for Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. “She did a phenomenal job at getting the word out.”
By James Ponder