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Donna Harris
Manager, Public Relations & Digital Media
William Osler Health System

First baby born in Etobicoke General’s new Birthing Unit receives warm welcome

(l-r) Lindsay Hodgeboom, Clinical Services Manager, Women’s and Children’s Program; Michelle Garcia (mother) holds Iziah Anthony Garcia; and Essam Hajjar (father).

June 24, 2019, ETOBICOKE—June 23 was a day of many firsts for everyone at William Osler Health System’s (Osler) Etobicoke General Hospital, as the doors to its new patient tower opened for the first time to provide care to patients. In the midst of the excitement, at 10:08 a.m., Michelle Garcia delivered a baby boy – the first baby born in the hospital’s new Birthing Unit. Iziah Anthony Garcia, who is also his parent’s first child, weighed in at 6 pounds 10 ounces.

“We are so grateful for everyone here at Etobicoke General who made this moment so special,” said Cecy Garcia, the baby’s maternal grandmother. “We are very happy with the entire experience.”

Three babies – two boys and a girl were born on opening day. The new Birthing Unit is one of 14 programs and services that moved into Etobicoke General’s new patient tower. The Unit includes 10 private birthing suites, two operating rooms, and a 10-bassinette Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for newborns who need extra care. The patient rooms are bright, comfortable and spacious.

“After many months of careful planning, we are thrilled to now welcome newborn babies and their families in this new, family-friendly space,” said Trish Geerlinks, Director of Women’s Children’s and Seniors’ at William Osler Health System. “Osler’s staff, physicians and volunteers worked seamlessly together to ensure there were no disruptions in care as patients like Michelle and their families, transferred from the ‘old’ building to the new space.

The transfer from the ‘old’ birthing unit to the one in the new patient tower was intricately planned. Both units remained open at the same time to support moms who were further along in their labour, as well as those who had already given birth. Patients like Michelle, were transferred into the new space after it was deemed safe to do so. “

This new Unit is amazing. It is a very nice place,” said Cecy, who accompanied her daughter to Etobicoke General. “I work across the street from the hospital and have been watching this construction every day, and we have been patiently waiting for this moment.”

With the best wishes of William Osler Health System Foundation, the family received warm congratulations and a large gift basket of baby items.