Memorial Hospital in Carthage to discontinue labor and delivery services this year

Memorial Hospital Chief Financial Officer Teresa Smith said the money will be put towards...
Memorial Hospital Chief Financial Officer Teresa Smith said the money will be put towards COVID-19 care.(WGEM)
Published: Sep. 6, 2022 at 10:18 AM CDT
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CARTHAGE, Ill. (WGEM) - Memorial Hospital in Carthage, Illinois, announced Tuesday it will discontinue its labor and delivery services later this year.

The closure of the inpatient labor and delivery unit, called the Stork Stopp, is scheduled for Dec. 1.

According to hospital officials, the nursing shortage has affected many health systems, including Memorial Hospital. The Stork Stopp requires labor and delivery trained nurses to be in-house, around the clock, even if there are no obstetric patients. Due to the difficulty recruiting nursing staff and the dependence on contracted agency nurses, the decision has been made to discontinue labor and delivery birthing services.

Officials added, that while there will be employees affected by this closure, these employees have been given the opportunity to apply for transfer to other positions within the organization.

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

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

“The decision to close the inpatient OB services was difficult and emotional,” said Memorial Hospital CEO Ada Bair. “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,” added Bair.

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