Local doctor delivers 1,000th baby at Schneck Medical Center

Each year, Schneck Medical Center OB/GYNs receive a report listing how many babies they delivered.

In January, Dr. Justin Rasner did the math for his six prior years and realized he was close to a milestone: 1,000 babies delivered.

From that point, he started a weekly countdown.

On a recent Monday at 6:20 a.m., after being on call the whole weekend, the 1,000th baby arrived.

“She presented to the hospital nearly ready to push,” Rasner said. “Things moved fast with no time for an epidural. It was sort of a classic OB/GYN moment, getting out of bed in a rush with only minutes to go before my on-call time ended. It was a healthy baby girl, 6 pounds.”

Despite being tired at that point, Rasner said he was very excited.

“After a couple thousand deliveries in my life, special moments like this make you stop and reflect. We don’t always have time for that in our business,” he said. “As I started telling people that weekend, some of our more experienced nurses shared stories of their own. Some of them have been in over 10,000 deliveries. Nurses are the best. People may not always realize just how much experience is in a patient room on any given day.”

Rasner has been at Schneck since 2016, and he said he wasn’t surprised to reach 1,000 deliveries in that time frame because it’s a busy practice.

“With Dr. (Eric) Fish becoming leader of the hospital and leaving regular practice, we’ve been lucky to establish a stable team of OB/GYNs,” Rasner said. “We all tend to deliver about the same number each year now, so I expect other 1,000 announcements in the next couple of years. Dr. (Adam) Jablonski is surely coming up on 2,000 here.”

Rasner is originally from Kentucky and completed his undergraduate studies and medical school at the University of Kentucky. He then did his specialty training in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he met his wife.

They did a short stint in Boston, Massachusetts, at Harvard and then private practice outside New York City in New Jersey for a couple of years before they decided to start their own family.

“We wanted to move somewhere better to raise a child,” Rasner said of how they wound up in Seymour. “I spent high school and college driving up and down I-65 to watch Peyton Manning, although my family are lifelong Bengals fans, so this was a perfect fit. I graduated medical school in 2009, so it has been nearly 13 years of nonstop OB/GYN.”

While he never thought he would want to be an OB/GYN when he was younger, Rasner said from the first time he was in a room helping deliver a baby, he was hooked.

”We do a lot of other things besides delivery, but being part of that family moment over and over again is pretty special,” he said. “I’ve also been at Schneck longer than I’ve been at any other hospital. Becoming part of the community is a great feeling. I hope to be here the rest of my career.”

For reaching 1,000 deliveries, Rasner was recognized on Schneck Medical Center’s Facebook page and was surprised to receive a letter from a U.S. congressman.

“The best part was all of the Facebook comments and especially the pictures of kids growing up,” he said. “I also got a wonderful note and gift from No. 999.”

Looking ahead to the next delivery milestone, Rasner said he’s starting to wonder how many hysterectomies and other surgeries he has done.

“I wish there was a way for the computer to tell us how many cancers we catch early or prevent altogether,” he said. “Part of being a doctor is looking ahead, pushing forward. My colleagues and I have all been through a lot, the last couple of years especially. Sometimes, we lose sight of the good we do.

“With the recent passing of our dear friend, Dr. Luyen Le, it becomes apparent how much impact each of us can have despite the difficulties,” he said. “Hopefully, we all remember to stop and reflect more often.”