Read about the Mother-Baby Unit in the Burlington Free Press

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Read about the Mother-Baby Unit in the Burlington Free Press
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A SPECIAL DELIVERY
UVM Medical Center unveils the Glen and Rosemarie Wright Mother Baby Unit.
STORY BY ZACH DESPART, 4A
KEVIN HURLEY/FOR THE FREE PRESS
Rosemarie and Glen Wright of South Hero take a tour Tuesday of the new University of Vermont Medical Center maternity ward bearing their names.
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BURLINGTONFREEPRESS.COM
WEDNESDAY, JULY 29, 2015
vermont
South Hero couple give back to hospital
Glen and Rosemarie Wright
maternity ward opens at
UVM Medical Center
ZACH DESPART
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
When Glen
Wright was
growing up
on an Enosburg farm in the
1950s, his father was admitted to the hospital now
known as the University of
Vermont Medical Center
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for a serious back surgery.
In the lobby of the hospital — children at that
time were not permitted
upstairs — the curious boy
asked his mother why
many of the units had
names like Patrick and
Shepardson.
She
explained how families of patients would show their
gratitude by donating to
the hospital.
Wright said he was impressed by this generosity,
and by the time his father
left the hospital four
weeks later he had
reached a conclusion.
“The ultimate goal
when I was 8 years old was
to give back in such a way
where I could have a floor
or unit named after us,”
Wright said.
On Tuesday, that day
came. The University of
Vermont Medical Center
unveiled the Glen and
Rosemarie Wright Mother
Baby Unit at the hospital,
named after the South Hero couple.
Wright and his wife,
Rosemarie, were among
the largest of 800 donors.
“There’s not a better
place where miracles happen than where life is
started,” Wright said.
“Rose and I couldn’t be
happier.”
The new Mother Baby
Unit is an improvement to
the current facility, which
is more than 50 years old
and has small, double occupancy rooms. The new
unit has 22 single-bed
rooms with private bathrooms.
KEVIN HURLEY/FOR THE FREE PRESS
Lauriette Winters, looks out the window of a private room during a tour of the new Glen and Rosemarie Wright Mother Baby Unit
at UVM Medical Center on Tuesday.
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KEVIN HURLEY/FOR THE FREE PRESS
Glen and Rosemarie Wright
sign the guest book after a
tour of the new UVM Medical
Center maternity ward
bearing their names.
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KEVIN HURLEY/FOR THE FREE PRESS
A group tours the new Glen and Rosemarie Wright Mother
Baby Unit at UVM Medical Center.
“Physicians don’t have to take babies out of the room
anymore,” said nurse Jennifer Robare, nurse manager
for Maternity and Nursery. “They can do whatever
they need to do there.”
The facility, in the Baird building, cost $15.8 million.
Donors gave $3 million and the hospital kicked in the
rest.
The new unit is also near to the labor, delivery and
neonatal intensive care units. UVM Medical Center estimates more than 2,000 mothers and their babies will
pass through the unit each year. The rooms include pullout beds so patients’ relatives can rest or spend the
night.
UVM Medical Center President and Chief Operating
Officer Eileen Whalen, also a nurse, Whalen said the
maternity unit is part of the hospital’s push to modernize facilities.
“As we move towards much toward patient familycentered care, trying to replace our 1940s beds into a
single-bed environment,” Whalen said. “That is really
our philosophy.”
Whalen said single rooms provide more privacy for
patients and their families.
“You’re at the most vulnerable as an inpatient at a
hospital,” Whalen said. “The last thing you want is to be
with a stranger.”
UVM Medical Center is shifting to single-occupancy
rooms in other areas of the hospital, too. State regulators on July 1 approved the construction of a $187 million inpatient building that will contain 128 single-bed
rooms.
Whalen said the maternity unit should serve the hospital for at least 30 years. She added she was impressed
by the dedication of the laborers who worked to complete the unit.
“Every one of them could tell a story of how a child or
grandchild was born here,” Whalen said. “The pride in
construction was just amazing.”
More than a hundred people toured the new unit
Tuesday afternoon, including Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, hospital executives and the Wrights’ children and grandchildren.
With white roses on their lapels, Glen and Rosemarie
Wright smiled and held hands as they strolled the halls
of the seventh-floor facility.
Glen Wright, who made a living as an accountant,
volunteered at the hospital for 45 years. He also organized Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals telethons
in Vermont and helped the hospital with fundraising efforts.
Wright said he has benefited from hospital’s care. At
52, he suffered a serious heart attack and recuperated
at what was then called Fletcher Allen Health Care.
“There’s a lot of miracles that have taken place here,
to myself and my family,” he said. “This was a chance
for us to give back.”
Contact Zach Despart at 651-4826
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