Updates from Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and Hospital Foundation | TheUnion.com
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Updates from Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and Hospital Foundation

It has been a fun week at Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital (SNMH) welcoming new lives in as the holidays approach. While it’s a little early to see if COVID-19 will be responsible for a local baby boom, there will be many happy and excited parents celebrating a new year with their bundle of joy.

Dawn Schultz, RN started as Director for the Family Birth Center (FBC) a few months ago. Dawn started in the military as a medic. She has worked most of her career in labor and delivery and has a vast knowledge of care for expectant mothers. She is joined by a team of 32 nurses working every day to bring those 10 little fingers and 10 little toes safely into the world.

There are amazing OBGYN community physicians including Dr. Lystra Celestine, Dr. Faye Jensen and Dr. Deborah Chong. Long-time physician Dr. Richard Goddard continues to take occasional calls.



Babies have been born at SNMH since the doors opened in 1958. Women’s health services include obstetric care such as prenatal, labor and delivery and postnatal. There are also gynecologist services including preventative health, abnormal bleeding, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, and polycystic ovaries. There is minimally invasive gynecologic surgery including laparoscopic hysterectomy and endometrial ablation.

Remodeled a few years ago, the FBC features spacious and private labor and delivery and recovery suites with many amenities. Expectant mothers receive spa kits with organic bath and body products, aromatherapy, a relaxing private Jacuzzi tub, a comfortable pull-out sleeper sofa, iPod docking station with WiFi access, a flat screen TV, snacks, an in-room refrigerator, plus a special meal to celebrate your new arrival.




The hospital offers a variety of pain management options including epidurals and Nexus. Doulas (someone who offers guidance during pregnancy) may join as part of the birth team. Currently, plans are underway to introduce midwifery into the hospital in 2021.

SNMH’s FBC team want expectant families to know it is very safe to deliver at the hospital even during these times of COVID-19. Excited future parents can make an appointment to tour the facility. Not only is the hospital doing everything necessary to ensure patient safety including screening, taking temperatures, masking and social distancing, but the labor and delivery department is separate from other patient areas of the hospital.

There has not been a lot of definitive information on the effects of COVID-19 on pregnant women. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it is still not known if a pregnant woman with COVID-19 can pass the virus that causes COVID-19 to her fetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery. No infants born to mothers with COVID-19 have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. And, while it is cautionary, according to a recent New York Times article in its emergency authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Friday Dec. 12, the Food and Drug Administration took an unexpected step, leaving open the possibility that pregnant and breastfeeding women may opt for immunization against COVID-19.


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