Ozarks Healthcare ended 2020 and welcomed 2021 while marking three milestone births at the medical system: its last birth in its former OB Department, the first birth in its new Women’s Center, and its first birth of 2021.

Braelynn Reese was the last baby to be born in the medical system’s former OB Department at 12:12 a.m. Dec. 28, 2020. Her parents are Billy Reese and Dametria Edwards.

The OB Department is currently being converted into Ozarks Healthcare’s new COVID Care Unit (CCU), following the opening of the medical system’s new Women’s Center, said officials. The center includes 20,000 square feet of modern labor and delivery rooms, gynecological surgery facilities and educational spaces. The facility is the first portion of the most significant expansion in the medical center’s history to be completed and is now open to patients, officials added.

Marking the first birth in Ozarks Healthcare’s Women’s Center, Kash Smith made his entrance into the world at 3:17 a.m. Dec. 30. Kash’s parents are Harley and Alex Smith.

“The last few days have been especially meaningful to our staff as history at Ozarks Healthcare was made with these births,” said Women’s Center Manager Tonya Aaron. “Thousands of newborns have been brought into the world at Ozarks Healthcare, and we are excited to welcome even more as we open our new Women’s Center and enter 2021.”

The medical system welcomed its first baby of 2021 at 6:45 p.m. on New Year’s Day. Barrett Waggoner was delivered by Dr. Brian Israel of the Women’s Health Center. Barrett’s parents are Brandon and Ashlyn Waggoner.

“Being able to welcome a newborn on New Year’s Day is always a special moment,” Israel said. “Barrett’s entrance to the world was symbolic of the new beginnings we anticipate in 2021.”

All three babies received a wagon, car seat, car shade, book, diaper bag and other gifts, courtesy of Ozarks Healthcare.

About 600 newborns are born at Ozarks Healthcare each year, said officials. For more information about obstetrical care and delivery services offered through Ozarks Healthcare’s Women’s Center, visit www.ozarkshealthcare.com/services/womens.

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