A hospital is only as good as its staff, and when it comes to having a baby, area patients can make no better choice than The Memorial Hospital, said Dr. Michael Crane.
"The heart and soul of medicine is the doctor-patient relationship," he said. "It's not four walls, nice carpet and wallpaper. We can perform doctor/patientwise on par with anywhere people talk about."
Crane came to Craig a year ago as a gynecologist. He has since been asked to take on obstetrics as Craig's only board-certified obstetrician.
"There's no reason a patient can't get top-quality care here," he said.
And top quality is a priority for The Memorial Hospital.
"At The Memorial Hospital we go out of our way to make sure the birthing experience is as comfortable as it can be -- for both the mother and father," Community Relations Director Pam Thompson said.
At The Memorial Hospital, obstetric services are a work in progress. Hospital staff, doctors and administrators are constantly working to make the miracle of childbirth a beautiful experience.
"We have family practitioners and nurses on staff and our facility and childbirth support programs are always improving," Thompson said.
With Dr. Crane on staff, those services will continue to improve. Before making the decision to come on board as an obstetrician, Dr. Crane asked the hospital's board of trustees whether it was willing to invest time and money into training for doctors and nurses.
"The hospital made a major commitment to say 'yes' we'll do these things," he said. "It will benefit the whole community."
The Memorial Hospital has state-of-the art equipment, services and education for its staff members.
Gone are the days of semi-private labor rooms, a transfer from the labor room to the delivery room and the exclusion of family. The Memorial Hospital provides family birthing rooms so anyone the mother chooses can be involved in every aspect of her experience. The rooms are private and the mother stays in the same room during her entire experience.
The rooms come equipped with a recliner that stretches into a bed so the baby's father or mother's birthing partner can stay with her in the room.
"We think our birthing facility, staff members and programs make for a great birth experience," Thompson said.
But that experience doesn't start at the hospital. Prenatal care is just as important.
The Memorial Hospital has certified childbirth educators and prenatal classes that emphasize exercise to improve the process of labor.
"More and more studies show the importance of prenatal care to the ultimate health of the baby and an improved experience for the mother," Thompson said.
There are six Craig family practitioners who specialize in obstetrics, Caroline Reilly, Andre Huffmire, Greg Roberts, Brian Johnson and Thomas Told.
Each can share a success story that took place at The Memorial Hospital.
"I love obstetrics," Crane said. "It's the happiest part of all medicine."