Welcoming the first baby born in new birthing center!

Join us in welcoming the first baby born in new birthing center!

On April 7, Knox Community Hospital welcomed the first baby born in the Ann Schnormeier Center for Birthing Care inside the new 88,000 square foot Wright Family Medical Pavilion located at 1330 Coshocton Ave.

Martinsburg residents Rachael and Cory Buckingham greeted their third child, a girl named Kaina, at 7:12 p.m. after 5 hours of active labor. Buckingham was the first patient to deliver on the unit on its opening day.

“As we know, babies do not wait for a convenient time to be born,” said Joanne Yates, RN, BSN, C-EFM, director of the Ann Schnormeier Center for Birthing Care. “There were moving men, extra staff, boxes and equipment being moved from the old suite. In preparation of someone coming to deliver during the move, two of the rooms were staged and ready to welcome our first laboring moms. Our preparation beforehand allowed for a seamless delivery of care for the Buckinghams.”

Delivering a baby during the time of the COVID 19 pandemic provided some challenges for the veteran parents who were not allowed to have visitors, or their other two children, present for the birth. However, the couple was able to virtually share the experience with family and friends remotely – even allowing Cory to announce the baby’s gender, which was a surprise, via video. Each labor, delivery, recovery, and post-partum (LDRP) suite on the unit features an in-suite television equipped with state-of-the-art video conferencing capabilities.

“I am incredibly proud of all the hard work the hospital’s leadership team put in for us to be in the best position possible during the pandemic,” said Dr. Kristen Witham, the Buckingham’s obstetrician. “It’s nice to have our pregnant women in a building separate from the hospital where the emergency department and intensive care unit are located. It really gives our patients a sense of comfort to come to a separate space.”

Buckingham says she enjoyed laboring in the large, soothing rain shower connected to her room. The roomy suite also featured a full-size pull out bed where her husband slept.

“Cory stayed with me 24/7 – which gave us ample time to bond with our daughter,” Buckingham said. “We also appreciated the nurses accommodating our request to allow us to give Kaina her first bath in our room.”

A gourmet steak meal, a special amenity offered to new parents after their child’s birth, was served to the couple. Being able to enjoy the unit was especially meaningful to Cory, who was instrumental in securing the bid for his former company, Richardson Glass, to install all the glass in the building.

Since opening on April 7, the birthing center has welcomed 17 more babies to the community. For more information on the Ann Schnormeier Center for Birthing Care, visit www.kch.org.


About the Ann Schnormeier Center for Birthing Care: Located on the second floor of Wright Family Medical Pavilion, the Center is named after the late Ann Schnormeier, a longtime hospital trustee and community philanthropist. It features eight spacious labor, delivery, recovery, and post-partum (LDRP) suites. A state-of-the-art operating suite for both scheduled and unplanned cesarean section deliveries is also conveniently on the unit.