WINSTON-SALEM, NC - A North Carolina hospital is asking the state for permission to resume traditional and low-risk deliveries.
The CEO of Wake Forest Baptist Hospital, Dr. Julie Freischlag, said it’s been more than 40 years since the hospital has delivered for a traditional pregnancy, they have handled high-risk pregnancies-only since 1974.
“Since 1974 really we’ve been focused on just high risk deliveries but for our employees, many of them would like a choice,” Dr. Freischlag said. “Even though they've had great service at other hospitals and our doctors work at other hospitals they really wanted the opportunity to deliver their low risk babies as well.”
Dr. Freischlag said her employees, like the new residents and nurses, really pushed for low-risk deliveries.
With more babies comes more patients, and more space needed.
Baptist Hospital said in a news release Tuesday it has submitted an application to state regulators to renovate two floors of the main hospital with a late 2019 completion date. The application is called a Certificate of Need, otherwise known as CON.
The project would include expanding and updating the neonatal intensive care unit, which would have 51 private rooms, with two reserved for twins. The service would be available to all women in the Winston-Salem area.
Forsyth Medical Center, also in Winston-Salem, has had the bulk of Forsyth County's deliveries since the 1970’s.
Dr. Freischlag, who is also dean of the medical school, said Novant Health is not their competition and they still have a great working relationship.
“It’s just allowing them if they want to deliver here at Wake Forest Baptist, say, if they've had care here before or their family comes here for other services they could choose here, they could choose Novant, they could choose wherever they want to go but they would be able to come here if they are low-risk as well as high-risk,” Dr. Freischlag said.
Statistically, 20-40 babies are delivered annually at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital. That number could triple with the upcoming changes.