Less than a year after opening, Community Birth Center (CBC) in Lacey, Washington, is now doubling their birthing capacity, bringing their clinic and birthing services under one roof, and increasing the space they can offer for community programming.
CBC officially launched in December 2020, using a $10K grant from BCE to fill in their launch budget. CBC completed construction in March 2021 and finished the rigorous licensing process in November 2021. By December 2021, CBC was able to bring on another midwife, a medical assistant, and office staff with the $57k they received through BCE’s Open Doors Initiative.
Terri Chi-Lee initially launched CBC with a birthing suite and clinical space in two separate locations. “Now, we’re bringing all our programs under one roof,” she explains. “This will give us more space to see clients, and will be less stressful on staff who will no longer need to drive back and forth between locations.” In addition, CBC will now have a backup birthing suite to offer more birthing services and to use the space for community workshops when it’s not in use.
“My vision is to be a community hub,” says Chi-Lee, who is excited to have in-person space (following COVID guidelines and updates) for their Village Circle community education trainings, on topics such as lactation and gender supportive birthing, as well as CBC’s annual racial equity conference for medical providers.
Reflecting on all she’s learned, Chi-Lee is excited to support others feeling called to open community-oriented birth centers. “Have a vision for your practice in the future,” advises Chi-Lee, “and be sure to read your state regulations before you break ground!”
Photo: Terri Chi-Lee puts a coat of paint on CBC’s second birthing room.