Paoli Hospital drive-through baby-shower supports mothers of Orange and Lawrence counties

LAWRENCE CO. – 84 registered for Friday’s drive-through baby shower at 10 a.m. at the IU Health Paoli Hospital.

IU Health Bedford Hospital OB Outreach Program Manager Jodee Rohrer, BSN, RNC, had the idea for the event and spearheaded the movement for it. Without her, the shower wouldn’t have been possible.

Families were able to drive through an assortment of vendors catering towards supporting mothers, infant safety, and healthy child-rearing practices.

Some of the services offered included a Safe Sleep class, car seat inspections, or for qualifying families, car seats themselves, as well as supplies such as diapers, wipes, and other things integral to keeping babies happy, healthy, and safe.

IU Health Paoli and Bedford Community Health Educator, Melissa Moffat, MSN, RN, in charge of organizing the event, said they had “Invited vendors that impact the family,” including Hoosier Uplands, Healthy Families, IHC Lawrence County WIC, Nurse-Family Partnership, LifeSpring, and many more.

Shelly Young with Hoosier Uplands

The IU Health Community Health Team contributed by making cultural food bags. These bags had recipes, ingredients, and a QR code to scan that led to video instructions on how to make them. The cultural bags featured Ukrainian, Costa Rican, and East African dishes.

Tiffany Deckard and Laura Crone with Healthy Families of Orange County and Healthy Families of Lawrence County

Melissa Moffat, Jodee Rohrer, and IU Health Paoli Hospital Clinical Manager Whitney Zapien, BSN, RN, hope this event will advertise that Paoli is a delivery hospital, with all the supplies and workers to facilitate healthy births, including transfers should there be complications.

Chris Walker with IU Health and volunteer William Baxter passed out individual desserts for those coming through the baby shower. They also helped keep the vendors and volunteers hydrated.

With Bloomington, the other nearest delivery hospital, IU Health in Paoli offers a more rural, local option that may be significantly closer to many in Lawrence and Orange County than Bloomington.

Orange County Tobacco Free Coalition vendor

It’s an easier, local option for expecting families who may not want to drive an hour or more for care. Their services include a jacuzzi for laboring mothers, as well as C-section and delivery Doctor Sneed.

“This is a hidden gem, I think, for a delivering facility,” Whitney Zapien explained. “It’s a beautiful, lovely little facility and they give great care down here. And we need to get that word out.”

The IU Health Paoli Hospital is a level one critical access hospital, with everything they need to do emergency deliveries, epidurals, and the skillsets and supplies for c-sections.

The hospital focuses on the family and strives to keep mothers and babies together. Whitney Zapien said it’s their biggest goal. “Safe mom, safe baby, and we want everybody to have a great experience.”