Memorial Hospital to discontinue labor and delivery services

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CARTHAGE, Ill. — Memorial Hospital in Carthage announced in a Tuesday press release it will discontinue its labor and delivery birthing services on Dec. 1.

The hospital’s birthing unit, called The Stork Stopp, requires labor and delivery trained nurses to be in-house, around the clock, even if there are no obstetric patients. The difficulty of recruiting nursing staff and the dependence on contracted agency nurses led to the decision to discontinue labor and delivery birthing services. Employees affected by this closure have been afforded the opportunity to apply for transfer to other positions within the organization. 

“The decision to close the inpatient OB services was difficult and emotional,” Memorial Hospital CEO Ada Bair said in a press release. “Our amazing team of women’s health providers, and pediatric providers will continue all other services in the outpatient setting. We look forward to caring for women and children of this region.” 

According to the May 2022 issue of Becker’s Hospital Review, the US will face a deficit of 450,000 nurses by 2025.

Birthing services will be transitioned Dec. 1 to Blessing Hospital through the collaboration of Quincy Medical Group and Dr. Christopher Jones unless the patient chooses to deliver elsewhere. Jones and Lila Brooks Fritz will continue to provide all of the services they offer at Memorial Medical Clinics, which include prenatal, post-partum and women’s health.

Expectant mothers will receive a letter of notification via mail. To further assist expectant mothers, Memorial Medical Clinics also will reach out by telephone by the end of day Friday, Sept. 9.

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