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Little Everett Lee was born May 8, weighing 6 pounds and 13 ounces. He is one of over 88,000 babies born at Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital (MLGH) since the hospital began its obstetrics and maternity program 25 years ago. The unit opened with four labor and delivery rooms and two neonatal intensive care rooms.
“It was amazing how quickly the demand grew for more rooms,” said Rachel Laughlin, a Methodist nurse of 39 years who transferred from Methodist University Hospital to Methodist Germantown to help open the new unit.
Jane Burlingham was one of the nurses who worked in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) when it first opened. After a 40-year career, she retired a year and a half ago. “We’re all family,” she describes the tight-knit group.
As demand continued to grow, additional rooms were added and in 2010 the Women’s and Children’s Pavilion opened. The rooms were larger and designed specifically to provide specialized care for moms and newborns as well as the entire family. Today, the Pavilion houses a 16-bed labor and delivery unit, 38-bed postpartum unit, and an 8-bed antepartum unit.
“The additional space allows us to focus on patient-and-family-centered,” said Gwen Wheeler, clinical director of postpartum and nursery for Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital. “Newborns stay in the same room with their mom. Our rooms also have sleeper sofas for dads or other family members to spend the night.”
Everett is Alexis and her husband Cody’s first child, and Alexis is one proud mom. “I’m obsessed with him. I’ve taken like 500 pictures on my phone and we haven’t even left the hospital.”
Dad Cody is just as thrilled with his son. “It feels great to be a new dad,” he said.
There are a handful of nurses who helped launch maternity care at Methodist Germantown 25 years ago still caring for moms and babies today. Laughlin is one of them. “I am so proud to work for an organization that is so committed to safety and basing decisions on what is best for our patients.”
She adds, “We have grown a lot since those first days. 88,000 births is enough to populate both Collierville and Germantown.”