A partnership between Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) and Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital (OSMH) has birthed a baby boom of sorts in North Simcoe.
Through the partnership, 150 babies have been delivered, to date, at GBGH during the last fiscal year (March 2019 - March 2020). It's expected that number will climb to 180 by the end of March, which is 30 more than originally predicted.
"(The Regional Birthing Program at GBGH) is a very innovative model and it's serving the community very well," said Lucille Perreault, Vice President Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Executive.
The partnership with OSMH officially started in 2017, she said. The project provides mothers with high-risk pregnancies a direct line with OSMH, which is capable of handling such births.
"The idea is to have a connection with a centre, whereby they will automatically take a call and your patient without question when things start getting complicated," said Perreault. "That's the innovation in this model. It's that smooth and already ironed out transition to OSMH that makes it such that the patient and the baby are never at risk."
The other innovative feature is that all of the practitioners work together and the nurses are trained and educated for the delivery, in the same way, she said.
"The pieces of equipment are the same; the standards of practise are the same," said Perreault.
The program has been made possible with collaborative funding allocated by the Local Health Integration Networks in 2017/2018, she said.
To introduce the program to the community, the hospital held an open house last year.
"It was very good," said Perreault. "We were pleasantly surprised by the number of people that came through. People came through that had already delivered here. They brought their children back and others were planning for their births here. They got to familiarize themselves with the surroundings."
In September, Constance and Doug Imrie's baby, Glenn Paul Imrie, became GBGH's 100th birth of the year. Glenn Paul was born with the help of Midland Midwives; he weighed six pounds five ounces.
“We just bought a house in Midland and we wanted to have our son in our home community,” said Constance Imrie, in a news release. “I can’t say enough positive things about our experience at GBGH. The care we received was amazing and even though our son had some mild complications after birth, the team worked so well together, and with OSMH, to assess the situation and provide great, safe care.”
Perreault said even though there aren't specific numbers indicating how births have gone up at the hospital, "We have a sense that the birthing numbers have increased overall in the region, because OSMH is no longer doing the low-risk deliveries for Midland and area."