Sophie kicks off New Year for Salem Health

Sophie Maxx Sramek led Salem Health into 2021 — at 4:18 a.m. on Jan. 1 — as the first baby born in our Family Birth Center. Hope Wilkenson and Justin Sramek had been in labor for more than 24 hours before delivering by C-section.

"She was sunny-side up,” said Hope, who works as a pharmacy tech in Salem Hospital’s emergency department. She and Justin, who owns a local glass business, were looking forward to a natural delivery – “all that training!” she laughed. But when Sophie’s heart rate dropped, they pivoted into surgery.

Sophie’s middle name comes from both sides — after Justin’s great granddad, Max, and Hope’s grandmother, Maxine. Hence, the two XXs. She’ll go home with a “first baby” gift basket — much larger than her 7 pounds, 9 ounces — filled with toys, supplies, coupons and best wishes from the FBC staff.

“Everyone was pretty amazing,” Justin said, noting that the surgical team gladly posed for a dramatic, touching photo he took the very moment Sophie arrived in their hands.

While Sophie is in good health, one member of the family is concerned. “I’m a little afraid now,” said older brother Leo (age 5). When Hope asked why, he said “cuz I think she’s gonna be the new boss.”

About Salem Health Hospitals and Clinics. Salem Health offers exceptional care to people in and around Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley. It comprises hospitals in Salem and Dallas, a medical group of primary and specialty care providers, plus other affiliated services. Visit us at; “Like” us on; follow us on Instagram and Twitter: @salemhealth; and view us at

Media contact: Salem Health 24-hour media relations line — 971-718-3157