CASA GRANDE — Among much fanfare, a new maternity ward opened Tuesday in Casa Grande.

Banner Casa Grande Medical Center held a grand opening of a new labor and delivery wing. Banner CEO Rona Curphy said the hospital had been laboring a long time to bring the wing to fruition.

“We’re extremely proud to offer this service to our community,” Curphy said.

The new unit expands the number of patients the hospital can accommodate in women’s services and allows for moms and babies to stay together if there is a problem with the baby.

Two dedicated cesarean section rooms, a lactation room with lactation training and childbirth classes will be available.

The new wing is now open and began accepting women Tuesday. A separate door brings families right into the facility, and the private entrance will be open daily from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. After hours, patients are asked to register at the emergency room.

On Saturday, the hospital welcomed more than 200 people to a community “baby shower,” where expectant parents had an opportunity to view the new facility.

Casa Grande Mayor Craig McFarland said, “A strong hospital makes a strong community.”

Banner has invested nearly $17 million in the Casa Grande facility, said Dr. Marjorie Bessel, Banner’s vice president and chief medical officer.

Banner acquired the former independent community hospital in 2014.

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