Providence St. Mary Medical Center birth center.jpg

A fundraiser July 16-17 will benefit the Providence St. Mary Medical Center Birth Center.

Proceeds from a Summer Surprise fundraiser from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. July 16-17 in Providence St. Mary Medical Center’s Poplar Lobby, 401 W. Poplar St., will benefit the Family Birth Center.

Members of the service league will offer a variety of merchandise for the event. 

Providence St. Mary opened the newly expanded and updated first phase of the Family Birth Center in June 2018. Since the opening, 701 babies have been born in the new space, reported Lindsey Oldridge, chief philanthropy officer with Providence St. Mary Foundation.

In early 2016, Providence St. Mary became the only birth center in Walla Walla with the closure of Walla Walla General Hospital. That increased annual births at the facility from around 500 to more than 700. An investment of more than $400,000 over 10 months from the foundation bridged the gap in construction costs for a much-needed expansion. 

Lindsey reported Rowan was the first baby born in the new, dedicated surgical suite when mom’s skyrocketing blood pressure led to an emergency C-section. 

Lindsey said Rowan’s mom shared that having the surgical suite so close was amazing because she did not need to feel scared about being taken to the operating room downstairs, an unfamiliar environment away from her family..

Providence St. Mary Foundation develops and provides philanthropic resources to help ensure compassionate quality health care is available to the communities it serves, with special concern for the poor and vulnerable. 

In 2018, the foundation committed more than $1 million in philanthropic to support to its hospital and clinics. For more information, visit

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at or afternoons at 526-8313. 

Annie joined the U-B news staff in 1979 and since 1990 has written Etcetera, a daily community column. She was promoted to a copy editing post in 2007. She edits copy, designs and lays out pages, including the weekly arts and entertainment guide Marquee,

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