Salem Regional maternity services closing next week - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Salem Regional maternity services closing next week

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SALEM, Ohio -

The maternity services at a Valley hospital will be coming to an end sooner than thought. 

In March, Salem Regional Hospital announced that OBGYN and maternity services would come to an end by July 1st. However, on Tuesday the company announced that maternity services will be coming to an end next week. 

Previously the hospital cited an increasing median age in Columbiana County's population for the fact that the area's birth rate has been declining, yielding a drop of 15.6% in overall births from 2009 to 2017. Now officials say the average number of babies born at SRMC has dropped to 1.1 births per day.

The hospital says that in 2017, only 423 babies were born in the hospital all year. 

In addition, a release issued on Tuesday states that the Hospital's maternity staff has been accepting positions elsewhere, and therefore the unit will not be able to continue being effectively staffed after May 14. 

"We understand that our maternity unit has a very strong tie to our communities and we have truly appreciated the privilege of serving thousands of area families over many years," said Dr. Anita Hackstedde, SRMC President/CEO. 

Dr. Hackstedde continued saying, "This very difficult decision was made based on current consumer preferences for maternity care, the safety of our patients, physician and staff resources and financial performance data," Dr. Hackstedde advised. "The outcome is that our maternity unit will permanently close on Monday, May 14 at 3:00 p.m. Current maternity patients scheduled to deliver after that date are being personally notified by their OB/GYN physician and will be transitioned to deliver at other area hospitals that provide maternity services."

According to the hospital, the early closure of the maternity unit will not change the June 30th practice closing date for Salem Women's Health Partners' (SWHP), which will continue to see SWHP patients in the office until that date. 

According to Dr. Hackstedde, the Hospital is working with area providers to coordinate a level of gynecology physician care to be available locally. She also noted that SRMC's affiliated pediatricians will not be affected by the maternity unit's closing, and will continue providing care to area children through their office-based practices. 

For more Information patients and the public can call SRMC's "OB transition hotline" at 330-332-7234 to receive more details regarding the transition process.

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