YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Before Yokosuka's Stork's Nest opened for business, a few babies were born each year in less-than-best locations, such as a high-rise apartment in Atsugi, in ambulances on the way to a hospital, and in a private vehicle on the side of the Yoko-Yoko highway.
The Stork's Nest offers a safer alternative.
Eligible expectant mothers and their husband or coach can stay there when mom is about to deliver.
The Nest, which started with two rooms late last year and has grown to more than a dozen, celebrates a grand opening Friday, May 9. It's located next to U.S. Naval Hospital, Yokosuka, Japan.
Rooms are private, with bathroom, refrigerator, microwave oven, bed, sofa, TV-VCR, desk, dresser and rocking chairs. A cozy community area offers a living room atmosphere and a kitchenette.
"With a lot of hard work and community involvement. We've been diligently ordering supplies, moving in new furniture, painting and decorating to make the Stork's Nest a home-away-from-home," said Lt. Cmdr. Elaina Hall, case manager of the Stork's Nest.
"We are pleased and proud to announce we have all 12 studio apartments at the Stork's Nest open and ready for our beneficiaries."
Hall and Director of Population Health, Cmdr. Leanne York-Slagle, have scheduled a ribbon-cutting ceremony for May 9. Doors open to the public to tour the facility starting at 2 p.m. on the 9th.
"We invite our community to stop by and view the Stork's Nest. Information boards, and our staff will be available to answer questions," said Hall. "Information will also be available if you'd like to be a part of this wonderful community project."
Families can learn more about the Stork's Nest from their primary care manager or senior nurse at their branch medical clinic.
"Each clinic has received a Stork's Nest Booklet that's packed with invaluable Stork's Nesting information. If you are eligible to stay at the Stork's Nest, your information will be gathered at your clinic and forwarded to the Stork's Nest case manager," said Hall.
For related news, visit the U. S. Naval Hospital, Yokosuka, Japan Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/nhyoko.