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Olivia Hospital to discontinue baby delivery services

Olivia Hospital & Clinic Tuesday announced it will discontinue labor and delivery services at the hospital later this spring because of decreasing deliveries and declining population in the area. Olivia will remain the community’s destination for clinic-based obstetrics, women’s health and pediatric care with expanded services in those areas.

“As our hospital and community continue to see fewer births each year, it’s becoming increasingly challenging to sustain this hospital service,” said Nathan Blad, Olivia Hospital & Clinic president. “After many conversations with our family practitioners, leaders and community board members over the past several months, we made this difficult decision. As hard as it is to no longer perform deliveries here, we’re fortunate to have a number of options within a safe distance. And our family practitioners will continue to build on the high-level obstetrics and pediatric care we provide right here in the community.”

Sustainability of the service has been a challenge for the hospital’s family practitioners over the past decade. Recent data show that the hospital has seen as few as 16 and no more than 59 births, annually, averaging 41 deliveries per year. While hospital deliveries will no longer be provided, obstetrics, women’s health and pediatric care will expand, including OB-GYN appointments, pediatric, psychology, oncology and more.

“Many families in the community have had multiple generations of babies delivered here, which makes this especially difficult,” said Blad, who was born at the hospital. “We’re reaching out to our expectant mothers to provide support and make the transition for them as smooth as possible.”

The transition is expected to be completed in May.

(JP Cola, KWLM)

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