Darke County hospital completes major expansion

A Greenville hospital is opening a $60 million, 85,000-square-foot addition that is the health system’s largest single health care investment.

The new birthing center, single rooms, and added technology and other modern additions will all help Wayne Healthcare better serve patients and as well as be more attractive to future workers, according to Jeff Subler, VP of support services and incoming CEO.

The ribbon cutting on the new addition was held Wednesday morning.

The new addition includes the Special Beginnings birthing center. The new birthing center has the same capacity but it is 50% larger, with six private labor and delivery rooms, three private postpartum rooms and two private recovery rooms.

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“We understand that’s a service that expectant mothers shop for so we wanted to make sure we were ready for that,” Subler said.

The birth center also has in the c-section unit a new family viewing window to see the baby instead of having to wait.

The medical surgical floor will have 32 private inpatient rooms. Subler said that shared rooms aren’t the expectation anymore for patients and they also limit patient care, so they are excited about the private rooms.

He said the rooms can be also adjusted for patients who need an ICU level so the patient doesn’t need to be transferred to another unit, which helps the patient but also helps staff.

He said the hospital is now set up in pods, or “neighborhoods” of four to eight rooms.

“So it’s really a much smaller, more intimate patient care experience,” Subler said.

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Subler said in the patient rooms there’s a 55-inch flat screen TV with a camera that patients can use to video chat with other family members.

“That was an addition that really came about during the COVID discussion,” Subler said, adding that it the screen can also be set up for telehealth options. The hospital has several partnerships for video consults with outside specialists.

The new section also includes a 10,000 square foot Wellness Center and gym, featuring an indoor track. The Wellness Center also has a nutrition lab that can be for education on how to eat well, diabetes education and other related education events. Subler said in the past they have done this education in a piecemeal way but didn’t have a good dedicated spot until now.

Wayne Healthcare, which serves the greater Darke County area, has been noteworthy for growing and investing at a time when many other independent rural hospitals have been paring back.

The hospital has had advantages such as going into construction with no capital debt and money in the bank. Also, while independent, the hospital has used business partnerships to broaden service offerings and purchasing power. Additionally, new orthopedic surgical tech had boosted their patient draw and revenue.

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