Ascension Seton cuts ribbon on new maternity unit

The “happiest place” in the hospital is how Neal Kelley, COO of Ascension Seton Hays, described the brand-new maternity unit officially dedicated last Friday.

“I come here when I want to get happy,” Kelley said with a sweep of his hand to indicate the new hallway with the purple walls and doors.

About two dozen hospital employees and others gathered for the ribbon-cutting in the new 10,000-square-foot, first-floor expansion.

While the hospital was previously able to deliver in the neighborhood of 1,100 babies a year, that’s now increased to 1,800, Kelly said. “We went from 6 LDS (labor and delivery suites) to 8 and from 12 mother and baby rooms to 14.” The addition also has four triage rooms and six rooms for ante-partum, plus improvements to the nursery and the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

The project came at a price tag of $14 million – $2 million of which went to a da Vinci robot that also supports gynecology. “It was a $14 million ‘ask’ of Ascension and they came through – we got this project done,” he said.

Kelley praised the “wonderful” group of nurses, technicians and physicians who will be working in the new unit and noted that the expansion of the unit is part of Ascension’s initiative to expand care in Hays County, even as the physicians there continue to build their practices as the Kyle area continues to grow.

“New space and remodels are important,” Kelley said, “because it’s a tool for people to do their work. What’s really important are the incredible teams (that) do a wonderful job day in and day out. It’s a great new addition.”

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