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Womens Center turns 5
Staff celebrates with summer fun
Northside-Forsyth Womens Center employees, clockwise from left, Jill Thompson, Amy McPhail, Melissa Sugg and Sandra Grady ham it up for the camera during the anniversary party. - photo by Crystal Ledford

Like the first baby born there, the Women’s Center of Northside Hospital-Forsyth celebrated a milestone birthday this earlier this week.

Melissa Sugg, who has been the manager of the center since it opened on Aug. 6, 2008, said more than 12,000 babies have been born at the facility over the past five years.

Delivering those babies has been a particular joy, she said, since so many of the staff members live in Forsyth County.

“To be caring for people who are actually friends and family members, it just brings us a lot of happiness,” she said.

On Wednesday, Sugg and the other employees celebrated the milestone with a summer fun-themed reception in one of the facility’s classroom spaces.

“We wanted to take a moment because this is a big milestone,” said Lynn Jackson, administrator of the hospital, adding that it was hard to comprehend the birthday.  

“We can’t believe it’s been five years,” she said. “Our first baby is going to kindergarten this year and we’re just so stunned. It just happened so quickly.

“It feels great, but time has gone by so quickly that we can’t believe it because it seems like we were just announcing our very first deliveries.”

Jackson said the center delivered about 1,700 babies in its first year.

“And every year it’s gone up incrementally and we’ve already added on once since we’ve opened,” she said. “We now have some capacity to keep up with the growth.”

At the end of this year, a new four-story medical office building that adjoins the center will open, allowing additional women’s health care providers to have practices at the local hospital.

Jackson said the Women’s Center has been beneficial to the community as a whole, as well as the hospital campus.

“I think for people who move here now, it’s just assumed that we’ve always had this [facility],” she said. “But for those who have been here for a long time, they know how truly critical it was for us to have this place where people could start their families here.”

Sugg said the people of Forsyth County and surrounding areas have embraced it.

“The thing that just stands out to me is just the community support,” she said. “It’s just fun to be in a community where there is so much support. We have so many people offering to do things for us and so many of our staff participating in things locally that it’s just really something that’s been a nice surprise and something we’ve all really enjoyed.”

Jackson added that the facility has brought joy to the rest of the hospital, too. 

“It’s added so much positivity to our campus because the rest of the hospital is about not-as-happy kinds of things,” she said. “When you have an OB service, these are happy events, so it’s great to have this center and be able to celebrate it.”