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Olean General Hospital


Olean General's Obstetrical Unit and Nursery expansion will enhance comfort and efficiency

Posted on: 04/22/2010

Olean General Hospital has begun a significant renovation project in the fourth-floor Obstetrical Unit and Nursery to make mothers and newborn babies more comfortable, and allow staff to perform their clinical duties with greater efficiency.

For many families the Obstetrical Unit and Nursery is their first experience at Olean General Hospital. Although patient satisfaction scores are at 99 percent, it’s become time to update the unit that was last renovated in 1991. Since then, nearly 15,000 babies have been born in the unit, said hospital officials.

“The renovation is needed because during a high census period our nursery space is not adequate. Our patient volumes have increased dramatically over the past five years. Sometimes it’s been difficult to complete special testing procedures in the nursery due to lack of space,” said Mary Beyth, RN, Nurse Manager for the Obstetrical Unit and Nursery.

The three-phase project, expected to cost $750,000, is scheduled to be completed by the end of July, said Joseph Gaughn, Director of Facilities Services.

The project’s first phase will involve tripling the size of the 14-bed nursery to 600 square feet, and adding a new waiting room with a refreshment station, Mr. Gaughn said.

The expanded nursery will be able to accommodate higher volumes and offer more space for special procedures such as hearing testing, said Mrs. Beyth.

“The project’s second phase will bring an updated nurses’ station so staff can perform their clinical tasks more efficiently,” said Mrs. Beyth.

The final project phase will focus on the 14 postpartum rooms for mothers.

“These rooms will get new patient beds, furniture and oak-trimmed bassinets. Olean General Hospital also is looking to make the postpartum rooms more accommodating for visitors. We want to make these rooms more family-friendly, including having each one equipped with sleep chairs so family members can visit newborn mothers,” said Mrs. Beyth.

Additional upgrades will involve having new finishes added to the patient rooms and corridors to coordinate with the interior design of the rest of the hospital,” Mrs. Beyth noted.

In support of the project, “The 2009 Employee Campaign set records in both the number of employees contributing and the amount raised. Last year, 377 employees participated, a 21 percent increase over the previous year’s record participation of 311 employees,” said Olean General Hospital Foundation President Karen Fohl, who’s also Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Olean General Hospital.

“This OB renovation project is something the employees feel passionate about, therefore participation was very high in the campaign. It raised $70,000, an increase of more than 24 percent over the $56,276 raised the previous year,” Mrs. Fohl said.

Meanwhile, “We are currently in the midst of a community Capital Campaign to support this project because it’s for the babies. It is our hope that donors will consider making gifts for Mother’s Day in honor or memory of their mothers this year. In recognition and appreciation, the Foundation will gladly send a special card to the mother being honored in this special way,” added Mrs. Fohl.

The Foundation is a not-for-profit organization which raises funds to financially support Olean General Hospital’s mission of providing high-quality, cost-effective healthcare to those in the communities it serves.

For more information or to make a donation to the Foundation’s Capital Campaign, which is raising funds for the expansion and renovation of the Obstetrical Unit and Nursery, call 375-7445, mail a gift to OGH Foundation at 515 Main St. Olean, NY 14760, or go online at

Olean General Hospital was founded in 1898 and is a 186-bed, acute-care hospital. It provides an array of programs and specialty services, including Behavioral Health, Cardiac Rehabilitation, Chest Pain Center, Dialysis, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Sleep Center, and Wound Care. Also, Olean General Hospital has been designated a Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals Performance Improvement Leader.

Olean General Hospital and Bradford Regional Medical Center are members of Upper Allegheny Health System.

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