Updates from Around the Health System

Read the latest updates from around Wake Forest University School of Medicine

High Point Plans Family First Campaign for Mothers, Babies and Families

A newborn wrapped in a blanket wearing a hat.

The Family First campaign will focus on family-centered care and will help fund the $17 million initiative to ensure the best care for mothers and babies in all situations. The campaign seeks to raise a significant portion of the total cost through philanthropic partnerships throughout the communities that are served by High Point Medical Center.

“Our history is full of mothers and fathers welcoming new lives into their families,” said James Hoekstra, MD, FACEP, president of High Point Medical Center. “We are proud of our role as an extended member of these families, and we start anew now with a plan to bring the latest in birthing center care to our community.”

The campaign will help create a spacious, nearly 40,000 square-foot Women’s Center for families that will offer a new generation of sophisticated technology and a bright and vibrant amenity-rich design. Additions and enhancements include:

Patient Rooms: Post-partum patient rooms will be reapportioned and redesigned to include 50% more space for an environment that is more comfortable for families and more efficient for doctors and nurses.

NICU/Nursery: The planned new NICU area will house four Level II bassinets. Two newborn stabilization bassinets will be available, and all will reflect today’s standards with babies staying in the postpartum rooms with mom.

Procedural Rooms: Two operating rooms will be accessible for cesarean section procedures, and a dedicated, multipurpose procedural room will be added.

Labor and Delivery: The 6 labor and delivery rooms will be expanded and modernized with more space for clinical personnel and family members. To further increase capacity, 3 assessment/pre-labor rooms will be expanded with the potential to convert them to labor and delivery areas.

Technology: The Women’s Center’s new design will allow for the latest and most sophisticated equipment, including electronic fetal monitoring, ultrasonography, blood pressure screening, maternal-fetal pulse oximetry, infusion pumps, warmers and suction machines.

“Clearly, rooms have to be private, more spacious, more homelike, less clinical and more comfortable for mothers, fathers, siblings, grandparents and others,” said Barbara Faith Eisenberg, MD, OB/GYN at High Point Medical Center. “This modernization and reconfiguring changes everything. The facelift will be comprehensive, and the result will be spectacular.”

Judy Pietsch, High Point Medical Center’s director of Women’s and Children’s Services, said the fundraising effort is, “one of the most important initiatives in our history.”

“Our passion every day is focused on making a blessed event the safest, most memorable, most gratifying time in the lives of our families,” Pietsch said. “We know the expectations and are determined to meet and exceed them, and now we’ll be able to achieve that.”

To learn more about supporting the Family First campaign, contact Leigh Ann Venable, director of the High Point Regional Health Foundation, at 336-878-6780.

Virtual Hospital Helps Care at Lexington, Wilkes

A new virtual service has been launched to better and more quickly meet the needs of patients hospitalized at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist medical centers in Lexington and Wilkes. The virtual hospital program began in December 2021 at Wilkes Medical Center and in January 2022 at Lexington Medical Center.

Once a patient has given permission to a clinician for a virtual visit, a nurse brings a cart to the bedside – complete with a remote camera, microphone, speaker and stethoscope, allowing a physician within the Wake Forest Baptist system to examine the patient and listen to their lung, chest and bowel sounds.

“Perhaps a silver lining in the COVID-19 pandemic is that it’s been a disruptive innovator, forcing health systems to come up with new solutions to meet the needs of their patients,” said Harsh Barot, MD, medical director of the Wake Forest Baptist virtual hospital program. “This virtual approach, of course, does not take the place of a clinician at the bedside, but rather extends the reach of physicians and allows more patients to be seen sooner.”

Over the past 2 years, virtual care – often referred to as telemedicine or telehealth – has become increasingly common in both inpatient and outpatient settings throughout Wake Forest Baptist and at hospitals and health systems across the country. Atrium Health provided the 2 carts that are being used at Lexington and Wilkes medical centers.

“We are grateful to all of our colleagues and the senior leadership in Charlotte, Winston-Salem, North Wilkesboro and Lexington for their support in helping us quickly set up this program to better serve many of our patients,” said Chi-Cheng Huang, MD, executive medical director of general medicine and the hospital medicine service line with Wake Forest Baptist.

“The frontline nurses and nursing supervisors at Wilkes Medical Center and Lexington Medical Center have been phenomenal in helping us stand up this innovative initiative in a collaborative manner to allow more of our patients to receive care in their local hospitals and remain close to home.”