In-depth tour of St. Luke’s new OB/GYN clinic

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On Monday, St. Luke’s will welcome patients to a brand new Obstetrics and Gynecology clinic.

“We were hoping to do this pre-COVID, and our construction plans were put on hold during the pandemic, so this has been a long time coming,” Director of Women’s and Children’s Services Lori Swanson said.

The new space on the third floor of the Lakeview building doubles the square footage of the existing clinic.

“We absolutely needed more patient privacy,” Swanson said. “Our current space is very compact and doesn’t allow for the privacy that our patients deserve.”

They’re also going from 15 to 27 exam rooms, and some of them are family-sized. Swanson said they wanted to make sure there was space for a woman to come with her partner, kids, and a car seat or stroller.

It also means they can keep growing. Swanson said as St. Luke’s recruits more OB/GYN providers, they’ll hire nurses and keep increasing services.

“Access is always a challenge,” she said. “So we are adding more space to add more providers. We added another ultrasound room with this move so that we can get people in for ultrasound exams faster. There’s always a waiting list.”

But it’s not just about the exams, ultrasounds, and procedures. They also wanted to make sure it’s as positive an experience as possible. The clinic was designed from a trauma-informed perspective with neutral, earthy colors and local art curated just for St. Luke’s.

“It is beautiful. And every detail was thought about,” Andrea Jang with Duluth Mom said. “It just feels really personal and it doesn’t feel so sterile and scary when you’re here in a time that is extremely joyful and exciting but can be really stressful.”

The stroller parking off the lobby was the first feature that caught her eye.

“I know being able to take a stroller into my appointments saved me, like just physically. I wasn’t able to carry the carrier with an 8-pound baby in it when I was going to my OB appointments,” she said. “That’s important.”

As thousands of patients move through the OB/GYN clinic, St. Luke’s staff hope those small details make them feel supported.

“We really believe that we’re giving great care, we have been giving great care in our current space. This just allows us to do it in a better environment,” Swanson said.

“I just would say for moms who are coming here, you will be taken care of. You’ll feel comfortable here, you’ll feel calm,” Jang said. “You’ll feel like you’re in Duluth for sure.”