Personalized care, top-notch facility means happy moms & babies

“I  chose Howard County because it was close, it was convenient,” Megan Ritz said when recalling the birth of her first child.

That was back in 2011. Since then, the Ashton woman has had three more children — all at Howard County Medical Center.

“I’ve stayed here because of the staff,” Ritz said. “They truly care about you and your family.”

Karly Simonson of Palmer previously received medical care in Grand Island but switched to Howard County for the birth of her first child, Eli.

“We really loved the idea of a small-town atmosphere,” she said.

For their physician, Ritz and Simonson chose Dr. Kaitlin Hahn, who has training in both women’s health and pediatrics.

“You get to meet a mother during her initial prenatal care. You’re with her through the delivery and then the postpartum period,” Hahn said. “Then to watch these infants grow and develop over the months and years to come, you just form a really unique bond.”

Ritz looked for a good facility, relaxed environment, knowledgeable and caring staff, and good communication between doctors and nurses.

“Howard County checked all those boxes,” she said. “You’re going to get great care because you’re going to have one-on-one time with your doctor and nurses.”

Simonson also wanted personal attention. As a first-time mom, she had lots of questions.

“I was really looking for a provider that would give me that time,” she said, “and be able to answer some of those questions.”

Hahn cherishes the relationships she develops with mothers and children.

“It’s definitely a privilege when a mother chooses you to be the one to deliver her child,” Hahn said. “I try to put myself in their shoes. What would I want in a physician? And then try to replicate that for my patients.”

“Dr. Hahn is amazing. She is kind. She is patient. She is encouraging,” Ritz said. “She’s always willing to listen to you and your concerns.”

Simonson appreciates Hahn’s unique set of skills.

“I loved the idea of having an OB become our child’s pediatrician,” she said, “and be my primary care physician, so I don’t need to communicate with three different people.”

When a family chooses HCMC to deliver their baby, the personal attention extends beyond the physician.

“We have some highly trained and experienced labor and delivery nurses,” said Kerrie Asche, women’s health manager. “If you live in this area, you probably know one of the nurses that’s going to take care of you.”

“They are very knowledgeable, and they are willing to provide you information on what’s next and what to expect,” Ritz said.

“The nursing staff is wonderful,” Simonson agreed. “Everybody just has that attitude that, ‘We’re here for you. We’re going to take care of you. You are our focus right now.’”

While HCMC offers the individual attention of a small-town hospital, it also provides the newest and best technology possible.

“We have a centralized fetal monitoring system so that, even if we’re not in the room, we can see it at our computers,” Ashe said, “and the doctors can see it in their clinics, in their houses.”

The hospital also has the newest Panda Warmers in each labor and delivery room.

“With the size, we’re definitely able to provide care that’s more personalized while still maintaining that it’s comprehensive and quality care,” said Hahn, who has had two of her own children at Howard County.

“It was like the best day of my life,” Simonson said of her son’s birth. “I’m glad I got to share that with the providers here and the facility.”

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