HAS was founded on the principle that no patient should be refused care because of his or her inability to pay. Over its 62 years, HAS has kept its promise, treating patients from all over the Artibonite Valley with dignity and respect, regardless of their circumstances.
Almost a third of 2017’s hospital admissions were pediatric patients in need of: neonatal care, malnutrition rehabilitation, and surgical services. In addition to treating children, the hospital conducted over 2,900 surgeries, delivered 1,600 newborns at the hospital, and created 376 new prosthetics for patients in need. Providing care to an area roughly the size of Pittsburgh requires round-the-clock hospital services and the hard work of all of our community health nurses and educators.
Balancing Quality Healthcare with Growing Patient Demand
Even though they built the hospital due to the great need they saw for healthcare in the area, Larry and Gwen Mellon were very aware of the limitations of the hospital and were careful not to build beyond their means: economic or otherwise. However, the needs are great and HAS will always struggle with the balance between providing quality healthcare that meets the growing demands, and not expanding its programs, services, and facilities beyond what it can afford. Today the hospital has 131 patient beds, which are full year round. In fact, in 2017, the occupancy rate remained steady at 139%. In 2017 alone, 14,358 patients were admitted to the hospital, representing a 4% increase in admissions compared to 2016. This increasing trend in hospital admissions has grown year after year, and HAS must address this.
Designing and Funding a Birth Center for Uncomplicated Deliveries
One of the ways in which we hope to address the overcrowding in the hospital is to convert an existing unused space into a free-standing Birth Center. The former Red Cross building (pictured right) is located within minutes walking distance to the hospital, and would ensure any women with complications had immediate access to emergency obstetrics services.
Although the maternity ward at HAS is designated a High-Risk Maternity Ward, many women without complications arrive in labor and deliver in the hospital. While we are happy so many women are opting to give birth in a skilled facility, improving the health outcomes for mothers and their children, the majority do not require the intense supervision and care of high-risk births. This increase in normal deliveries at HAS depletes hospital resources, and is an inefficient use of time for OBGYNs and maternity staff.
By incorporating a free-standing birthing center—staffed with trained midwives and close enough to the hospital to treat emergencies—we can provide appropriate care to pregnant women without labor complications in a space designed for their needs. That will leave adequate space in the hospital for women who require a higher level of care. The renovations are estimated at a total cost of $250,000 (the HAS Board will not permit commencing the renovations until a majority of the funding is raised in order to ensure the project’s successful and timely completion).
HAS’ new strategic plan for 2018-2022 lays out a more detailed vision for addressing the issue of overcrowding in the hospital while staying true to our founding mission. We look forward to sharing this plan with you in the near future.
If you would like to see a proposal on the proposed birthing center, please contact Julie Throckmorton, Chief Development Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.