IU Health Paoli will discontinue obstetrics services due to low birth rates in Orange County.
Teri deMatas is the VP of Marketing and Community Relations for the IU Health Bloomington Hospital, which maintains oversight of the Orange County hospital. She says the decreasing trend was a key factor that led to the closure.
“We’ve actually had a 32 percent reduction over the last five years, and then also 60 percent of women who actually could deliver are choosing to go out of the county to have their babies,” she says.
DeMatas says it is no longer financially viable to maintain the program due to the reduction of births.
The decision will impact approximately 10 full time equivalent employees.
DeMatas says the hospital will continue to serve pregnant women and new mothers even after the March 30 closure.
“We’ll surely deliver any women who comes to our emergency department who is in labor, they will not be turned away,” she says. “Our emergency physicians will be able to take care of that delivery should that kind of emergency exist.”
DeMatas says leading up to the closure, the hospital will employ a board certified obstetrician who will travel to Paoli to provide pre- and post-natal care to pregnant women in Orange County.
The hospital will also launch a nurse-family partnership program in an effort to combat infant mortality rates.