Featured in the Bloomfield Patch: "Mountainside Hospital Welcomes Women with Open Arms"

December 16, 2010 12:53 PM

A new patient with a history of breast cancer in her family walks into the Women's Imaging Center with a bit of trepidation but is soon met with a friendly face at the reception desk at Mountainside Hospital's health pavilion in Montclair...
 
A new patient with a history of breast cancer in her family walks into the Women's Imaging Center with a bit of trepidation but is soon met with a friendly face at the reception desk at Mountainside Hospital's health pavilion in Montclair.

She arrives early for her appointment, looks over at the fish tank, signs in and waits to be called in. Within 10 minutes, she is invited into another room by X-ray technician Suzanne Hut. Hut hands the woman a colorful cotton gown. The patient comments how nice the gown is. After changing, she sits in a chair outside the room where mammograms are done. It gets a little cool, so she wraps a purple knitted shawl around her shoulders. In the small waiting area, all the chairs have shawls for patients to use.

"Women can find comfort at the center in what can sometimes be an uncomfortable situation," Hut said.

Ask any woman who has gotten a mammogram and most will agree the test, while brief, can be a bit painful.

"It is important a patient feels like she is more than just a number," Hut said.

Mammograms are not the only tests offered at the center in the health pavilion. Bone density scans, MRIs, CT scans, ultrasound and interventional radiology are among the many tests that make the center's services comprehensive.

Take a trip to the third floor, and you will find the hospital's maternity unit and OB/GYN services. A community hospital, Mountainside prides itself on its commitment to connecting with the surrounding neighborhoods.

At monthly meetings, CEO and President John Fromhold presents a hospital update. Attendees at the hour-long meeting also get to meet and talk with doctors, nurses and administrative staff. Each month's meeting focuses on something different and today the hospital has invited doulas and midwives for a roundtable discussion on what the hospital offers. The doulas and midwives also get to share their concerns.

Exploring what options there are for women is part of the hospital's commitment to getting to know the community and what its needs are.

"At the hospital, there is an established philosophy that women should be offered different methods of birth," said Diana Durham, director of obstetrics and a registered nurse.

"The focus is that we want to provide women with the birth experience they desire," Durham added. "We don't want to be rigid and we are giving women choices."

A hospital of its size and location is unique because the staff doesn't shy away from presenting women with alternative birthing methods. Quality care is at center of all their services.

"For a community hospital, we have one of the more comprehensive services," said Dr. Karen Dias-Martin, division chief of the OB/GYN unit.

New mothers and mothers-to-be are offered personalized care in a comforting and state-of-the-art environment. Maternal fetal medicine/perinatology professionals work with board-certified physicians, pediatricians and specially trained certified nurses. Board-certified lactation consultants also educate and follow-up on mothers who plan to or are breastfeeding.

The staff also includes a team of obstetricians, neonatologists and anesthesiologists.

In September, the hospital moved its prenatal care clinic to Verona, in the same office where Mountainside's family practice doctors and nurses are located on Bloomfield Avenue. Patients from as far as Union or as close as Newark can easily get to the clinic via public transportation. The hospital also offers a transport service.

Since the move, patients have appreciated the care they are receiving. Rather than the sometimes cold and unfriendly atmosphere of a clinic atmosphere, mothers-to-be are cared for in a cost-effective private practice setting.

In an economic climate, where money is a concern, there is a growing demand for quality care that is not expensive.

"This is your homegrown, hometown hospital," Dias-Martin said. "This is one of the best kept secrets in Essex County."

For more information on the women's services at Mountainside Hospital call 973-429-6120 or log onto their website (www.mountainsidehosp.com).

To see the article in the Bloomfield Patch, click here.

 

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