Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital in Lexington and Bedford Memorial Hospital will close their respective birthing centers because of declining use and physician participation. The decision to close the units was made by each of the hospitals’ boards of directors and was not a Carilion Corporate Decision, according to Carilion's Eric Earnhart.
Stonewall Jackson’s center will close April 30 and Bedford Memorial’s will close Oct. 1, following the retirement of one of its physicians.
“We held on as long as we could,” said CSJH President Thomas McNamara of Stonewall Jackson. “We are the last Critical Access hospital in the state to offer OB services, but we simply don’t have enough patients and physician participation to continue.”
In 2009, 43 percent of pregnant women living in
The declines are attributed to several factors. Patients increasingly choose to give birth in hospitals with advanced services, such as neonatal intensive care nurseries. Patients who work outside of
“It’s a difficult reality that many smaller hospitals have faced," said McNamara. "We don’t have enough births to support two OB GYNs, and you can’t safely operate an
Dr. Samir Ghobrial is retiring after 20 years at Bedford Memorial and his partner, Dr. Barbara McLaren, is taking a temporary leave of absence. Current patients of the practice will be able to deliver their babies at BMH between now and October 1. The practice will be closed to new patients effective April 1.
BMH President Patti Jurkus said, “We no longer have enough patients to support the ongoing operation of the Birthing Unit.” In 2009, 73 percent of pregnant women living in