HCHC to drop labor and delivery June 1, 2020

MT. PLEASANT — The Henry County Health Center board of trustees announced Tuesday the hospital will close its inpatient labor and delivery unit effective June 1, 2020.

According to a news release, the hospital will provide OB services through a shared program with Great River Medical Center in West Burlington. For the past three years, the board has been looking at how the services impacts the institution finically.

According to the release, the service has had a $3 million dollar negative impact. The number of deliveries at HCHC has declined over the past 10 years, with the market share of Henry County births dropping from 48 percent to 25 percent.

According to the health center’s website, 26 community hospitals have stopped labor and delivery since 2006 and 10 Iowa hospitals have dropped the service in the last two years.

“The decision to stop delivering at HCHC was not reached lightly,” HCHC CEO Robb Gardner stated in the news release. “I also want to be very clear that this decision is no reflection upon the quality of care our OB/GYN, certified nurse-midwives and labor and delivery nurses have provided to mothers and babies. We consider them among the best of the best and know this will be difficult for our caring staff.”

The statement continues that the HCHC leadership team will meet with staff to discuss other job opportunities within the health center and voluntary severance packages.