Lakeland welcomes first baby of the New Year

Published 10:01 am Thursday, January 3, 2019

ST. JOSEPH — The BirthPlace at Lakeland Medical Center in St. Joseph, welcomed southwest Michigan’s first baby of 2019 at 8:58 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 1. Enrique Balcazar and Itzel Balcazar, of Hartford, are the proud new parents of a son, Isai Balcazar.

Baby Isai weighed in at 8 pounds, 5 ounces, and measured 18 ¾ inches long. In keeping with their annual tradition of celebrating the first baby of the year, the Lakeland Auxiliary provided the family with a gift basket full of baby items valued at $100.

The Spectrum Health Lakeland system has delivered generations of southwest Michigan residents, with 1,630 babies born in the St. Joseph and Niles hospitals within the last fiscal year. Lakeland is served by a team of 26 obstetrics and gynecology providers, including physicians, nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives. For more information about the BirthPlace, visit

Spectrum Health Lakeland is a nonprofit, community-owned health system serving southwest Michigan and northern Indiana. It offers a full continuum of care and wellness services including three hospitals, an outpatient surgery center, a cancer center and 41 physician practices. Lakeland is a division of Spectrum Health with 30,000 compassionate professionals, 4,100 medical staff experts, 3,200 committed volunteers and a health plan serving 1 million members. Lakeland has been recognized as one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems by Truven Health Analytics, part of IBM Watson Health.