From Saving Lives to Having Babies – This Doc Knows What She’s Doing

January 22, 2018

You don’t have to drive to Omaha to get good care. Just ask Cardiologist Ann Narmi, MD. She works at four CHI Health locations but chose to have her babies at Mercy Council Bluffs.

And why not? She was born there too.

When Dr. Narmi needed an emergency C-section last year, physicians and nursing staff were ready. “They were always thinking ahead to the next possible medical issue,” she said.

But what really sets Mercy apart from other nearby hospitals for the doctor? “The quality of care and the people involved in that care are most important to me,” she said. “Even the custodial staff would ask how I was doing and what I needed.”

Her sister-in-law also had a similar great experience at Mercy. And Dr. Narmi likes that the hospital is so clean and easy to navigate.

The Mercy Maternity Program and its family-centered care is about to get even better in 2018 as CHI Health’s commitment to Council Bluffs grows. The number of providers to care for mom and baby is expanding with the addition of new obstetric doctors and gynecologists, as well as neonatal nurse practitioners. And through a telehealth support program, the Mercy team will have access to real-time consults with a neonatal team off campus to help support those babies that may need a little more support when they are born.

Safety is a big focus in the maternity program. Mercy was named a Safe Sleep Hospital Champion for its commitment to teaching new parents how to safely put their baby to sleep – alone, in a safe crib and on his back.

And recent renovations make the maternity center more comfortable than ever. There patients can experience labor, delivery and recovery in the same room. Each birthing suite looks and feels like a master bedroom instead of a hospital room, and includes a sofa, rocking chair, TV, DVD player, wireless internet access and a Jacuzzi tub.

“We focus on rooming in with your baby and offer sofa sleepers to enhance family bonding,” said the Maternity Center’s Director Joanna Sklenar-Smith. “The walls in our unit have quotes to show our love for the babies and beautiful custom canvasses of the babies we’ve delivered here over the years.”

When mom needs to rest, the baby can stay in the full service nursery. Lactation consultants are available on site seven days a week and, after discharge, mothers can go to a support group that meets every Wednesday. Childbirth education classes and midwifery services also are offered at the center.

But Dr. Narmi was looking for more than classes and TVs. She’s never regretted delivering all three children -- Thomas, 4, Charles, 2, and Patrick, 1 – at the same hospital where she was born.

“I would recommend Mercy Hospital to anyone who wants to get great care from smart, friendly people!” 

Dr. Narmi is hardly the exception, Sklenar-Smith said. “It is here we make miracles and create families. That’s why generations of families return.”

Request a tour of the Maternity Center at Mercy Council Bluffs here.