2 area hospitals to stop delivering babies

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NEILLSVILLE, Wis. (WEAU/AP) -- Two hospitals in west-central Wisconsin will stop delivering babies, saying it's too hard to recruit doctors willing to assist with births at rural medical centers.

Memorial Medical Center in Neillsville will no longer deliver babies starting Feb. 15. Rusk County Memorial Hospital in Ladysmith will suspend deliveries March 2, a move officials hope will be temporary.

Both medical centers have been working with expectant mothers to direct them to hospitals in neighboring communities.

Lisa Montgomery of Memorial Medical Center says one factor in closing the birth center was the declining numbers of deliveries. She says about 30 babies are born in Neillsville every year.

Officials at both facilities say the decision wasn't easy but they want what's best for the mothers and newborns.


Another area hospital says it will stop delivering babies this year.

On Friday, Memorial Medical Center in Neillsville announced that its decision takes effect on February 15. The hospital cites the challenges of recruiting OB/GYN doctors to rural hospitals and the declining numbers of deliveries at Memorial Medical Center as two of the reasons for the move. It also says it wants to preserve the integrity of the services it provides, and collaborate with other facilities to provide quality care for its patients.

The hospital says it will work with expectant mothers interactively to make the transition easier. It will continue to provide pediatric services, emergency obstetrics delivery in the emergency room, and both prenatal and postnatal care. Earlier this month, Rusk County Memorial Hospital announced that it will close its birthing center in March.
NEILLSVILLE, Wis. (MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER NEWS RELEASE) -- Memorial Medical Center will no longer be delivering babies at our facility. This decision was made through an intensive strategic planning process in late 2013. From this process, it was deemed best that the facility no longer delivers babies on site at MMC. This will be effective on February 15, 2014. Some of the reasons are as follows:

 Challenges of recruiting OB/GYN Physicians to rural medical centers
 Declining numbers of baby deliveries at MMC
 Ability of MMC to maintain integrity of services at the highest level
 Collaboration with other facilities will maximize MMC’s ability to best care for and serve you

“Our medical providers will be working with their expecting moms very interactively to ease the transition of this change,” stated Lisa Montgomery, Business Development & Marketing Manager. MMC can and will continue to provide all patients prenatal and postnatal care; this includes prenatal classes and lactation consultant support. Memorial Medical Center will continue to provide both pediatric services and emergency obstetrics delivery services in the ER.

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