New Generations Family Birthing Center construction to resume, units to shift during construction

August 22, 2016

SYLVAThe final phase of construction on Harris Regional Hospital’s labor and delivery and mother/baby unit will begin this month, marking the completion of a project that began three years ago with an outpouring of funding support from the community. During the last stage of the renovation, the post-surgical, pediatric, and part of the mother/baby units occupying 3 East will move to the second floor to the area known as 2 East. The labor and delivery unit is self-contained and will remain open during construction. Information on the temporary move will be available at the hospital’s front desk and signage will be posted to direct patients and visitors. Construction is expected to continue through early 2017.

The facility, located on the hospital’s third floor, is known as the New Generations Family Birthing Center. Approximately 600 babies are born each year at New Generations, delivered by the obstetricians of Harris Women’s Care and cared for by the pediatricians of Harris Pediatric Care and Swain Family Care serving families from Jackson, Swain, Graham, and Macon counties, Cherokee, and the surrounding region.

The initial renovation began in 2013 with $600,000 in funding provided by the hospital’s foundation with donations from the community, sponsors, and proceeds from fundraisers. To date, the labor and delivery area has been completed. Remaining renovations include updating patient rooms and nursing stations, and adding an operating room for Caeserean-section deliveries. When Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital joined Duke LifePoint Healthcare in 2014, a commitment was made to complete those renovations. Duke LifePoint Healthcare is investing $5.5 million for the project as part of an overall $43 million capital commitment to Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital over the next several years.

Physicians and staff at the New Generations Family Birthing Center have access to the most up-to-date technology for delivering and caring for babies, and taking care of mothers. Nurses have attained national certifications in mother-baby care and continue to pursue additional education through Duke University Health System and the Association of Women’s Health Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). Mila Bruce, MD, Megan Metcalf, MD and Sabine Kelischek, MD, all of Harris Women’s Care are the Center’s OB/GYNs. Charles Toledo, MD, Nicholas Jernigan, MD, and Joshua Alweiss, MD all of Harris Pediatric Care, and Brooke Budde, DO of Swain Family Care are the pediatricians serving families. Kathy Walsh, NP with Harris Women’s Care provides care to mothers.

Child-birthing classes, breastfeeding education and unit tours are offered in addition to certified lactation consultants in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. For information visit

About Harris Regional Hospital & Swain Community Hospital

Harris Regional Hospital, established in 1925, is an 86-bed acute and specialty care facility serving Western North Carolina with more than 100 physicians practicing in locations throughout a multi-county region, including Harris Regional Hospital Medical Park of Franklin, an outpatient facility in Macon County.

Swain Community Hospital, established in 1950, is a 48-bed Critical Access Hospital serving a multi-county region with primary care, emergency medicine and subspecialty care including a pain clinic and a transitional care unit. Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital began an affiliation in 1997 and joined Duke LifePoint Healthcare in 2014.

About Duke LifePoint Healthcare

Duke LifePoint Healthcare, a joint venture of Duke University Health System, Inc. and LifePoint Health® (NASDAQ: LPNT), was established to build a dynamic network of hospitals and healthcare providers. The joint venture, which brings together LifePoint's experience in community-based hospital management and Duke's world-renowned leadership in patient safety and clinical quality systems, is strengthening and improving healthcare delivery by providing community hospitals the clinical, quality and operational resources they need to grow and prosper.