At 5:35 AM this morning, Jonathan Matthew Tafone became the first baby of 2023 born at Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC). He weighed in at 5 pounds, 10 ounces and is 20 inches long. He is the first child born to proud parents Matthew and Melissa Tafone of Rossville. Jonathan’s mom is a social worker and his dad is a New Yok City firefighter.
“We are very excited to be new parents and can’t wait to take Jonathan home,” his father Matthew said. “We love him so much.”
Mom, Dad and son are resting comfortably in the two floor Richmond County Savings Foundation Mother/Baby Unit at RUMC. The unit features nine birthing suites; a labor and delivery triage center; 36 maternal care beds; and multiple nurse stations. RUMC’s medical staff throughout the unit includes board certified physicians, experienced nurses and highly trained specialists.
Nearly 3,000 newborns are welcomed into the world each year at RUMC, which is the only hospital on Staten Island to carry the “Baby Friendly” certification from the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Since 2016, RUMC has been Staten Island’s only certified “Baby Friendly” hospital. RUMC is one of only 44 healthcare facilities in New York State with this certification and one of only 27 in New York City. The WHO and UNICEF launched the Baby-Friendly Initiative in 1991. The goal of the initiative is to protect, promote and support breastfeeding and the mother-infant bonding experience.
A major two-phase modernization project is currently underway in RUMC’s Mother/Baby Unit. Designed to enhance the mother-baby bonding experience and provide greater privacy, all rooms will be converted into single-bed suites, complete with new in-suite bathrooms, showers, flooring and windows. Each suite also has larger space for family and visitors. Phase one of project, renovating existing rooms to single occupancy, is nearing completion. Phase two, which begins shortly, involves converting underutilized space in the Mother/Baby Unit into new one-bed suites. This will enable RUMC to maintain its current bed capacity. Completion of the entire project is anticipated by end of 2023.
The Mother/Baby Unit project is part of over $250 million in capital improvements currently underway at RUMC that also includes the hospital’s new Medical Intensive Care Unit that opened in August of 2022 and a new 35,000 sq. ft. Emergency Department that will begin treating its first patients shortly. In the coming months, the hospital will also open its new Surgical Department, located directly above the new Emergency Department. Larger pre-op and post-op units as well as 10 new world class, fully equipped operating suites are all part of the new department.
Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC), is a not-for-profit healthcare provider serving the ethnically diverse community of Staten Island and its neighbors. We provide premier-quality patient care through a full spectrum of emergent, acute, primary, behavioral health and educational services. We do this in an environment that promotes the highest satisfaction among patients, families, physicians and staff. For more information call 1-718-818-1234 or visit www.rumcsi.org. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.