WRHS Receives Grant to Purchase Birthing Simulator

Batesville, Ark - When it comes to giving birth, there are times when extra special care is needed to ensure the safety of both mom and baby. Thanks to a grant from the Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas, White River Health System now owns a device called a Noelle Birthing Simulator that will help clinical care teams be more prepared for many different obstetric emergency situations that might occur in expecting women.

Noelle is a life-sized birthing simulator programmed to reenact the birthing process both with and without  pregnancy complications such as eclamptic seizures, fetal distress, shoulder dystocia (when a baby’s shoulder gets stuck in the birth canal and halts delivery),trauma induced labor (such as those caused by car accidents or falls), and more. Through these reenactments, emergency personnel learn critical techniques for handling these situations.

A simulation-based crisis team made up of White River Medical Center employees will conduct training drills using the Noelle Simulator at WRMC, WRMC Medical Complex in Sharp County, and Stone County Medical Center in Stone County. Since pregnancy emergencies can occur anywhere, at any time, training will not only be to emergency department personnel working inside our facilities, but also to trauma teams, emergency medical service providers, and first responders in surrounding counties.

“The Noelle Birthing Simulator will be an essential training tool for our obstetric staff, emergency staff, and local emergency personnel,” said Melanie Creighton, Nurse Manager of Women’s Health Services. “Labor and delivery can be very unpredictable and we want to ensure that those involved in caring for a distressed mother or baby are prepared to handle any situation that might arise, leading to the best possible outcome.”

The Blue & You Foundation provided a grant in the amount of $25,270, which will aid in purchasing the machine, providing training efforts, and assisting with further certification courses for OB staff. 

“This program was one of 35 chosen from among 202 applications, so the process was very competitive,” said Patrick O’Sullivan, executive director of the Blue & You Foundation. “We especially liked that this equipment and training would be made available to medical personnel working in several surrounding counties.”

The Noelle Birthing Simulator will be available for training this summer.  

WRMC is a 224-bed regional referral center and the flagship facility of White River Health System (WRHS). WRHS is a not-for-profit healthcare system serving residents throughout North Central Arkansas.  The system includes hospitals, outpatient facilities, primary care and specialty physician office practices.  White River Health System is a member of the Premier Alliance, the American Hospital Association, and the Arkansas Hospital Association and licensed by the Arkansas Department of Health.