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Samaritan Medical Center implements changes to maternity unit entrance

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Patients and visitors to the Maternity Place at Samaritan Medical Center will have to navigate through the hospital’s renovations to get to the relocated maternity unit entrance.

“Detour: Maternity” signage and maps are on display to guide people to the relocated entrance. Samaritan spokeswoman Krista A. Kittle said this change is expected to last through the spring of 2013, when renovations are scheduled for completion.

“We’ve put in place quite a few opportunities even before their due date, through the help of obstetrician offices, to get the word out there,” she said Wednesday.

Reconfiguring traffic flow to the maternity unit is an inconvenience, Ms. Kittle said, but it will result in a maternity entrance and corridor that are more esthetically pleasing to patients and visitors.

According to a news release issued by the hospital Wednesday, patients and visitors are encouraged to park in the hospital’s free parking garage. From there, they may enter the hospital through the main lobby or through the Watertown Medical Center office building, which is adjacent to the hospital. From these locations, “Sam the Stork” signage will be positioned along the route to guide patients to the Maternity Place entrance.

Ms. Kittle said Samaritan seeks patients’ and visitors’ patience and understanding throughout the renovation process. According to the news release, part of the plan includes reconfiguration of the security system on the maternity unit, which is a locked unit to ensure infant safety.

Once complete, the unit will feature a new and expanded neonatal intensive care unit, more labor, delivery and recovery rooms, and an enhanced waiting area for families.

Neonatal intensive care unit construction is expected to be completed this summer.

Many other units are being renovated and/or relocated as part of the hospital’s overall $61 million expansion and renovation project. For more information, call the maternity unit at 785-4050, or visit the hospital’s website, www.samaritanhealth.com.

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