Health Care

Salem Hospital to Stop Delivering Babies

SALEM, Ohio — Salem Regional Medical Center says it will stop providing maternity services by the end of its fiscal year June 30. Maternity patients scheduled to deliver after that date will be transitioned to other area maternity providers.

“This very difficult decision,” as Matthew M. Bender, chairman of the medical center’s board of directors described it, “was reached after an extensive assessment of area women’s current choices when selecting maternity services. We had to consider that approximately 70% of expectant mothers in our overall service area are currently choosing to leave our community and deliver their babies at non-SRMC maternity providers, instead of coming to our local maternity unit.”

Moreover, as Columbiana County’s population ages, the birth rate has dropped by 15.6% since 2009. That year, 714 babies were born at the hospital, a number than dropped to 423 in 2017, the medical center  noted.

“In addition,” said Bender, “hospital reimbursement for maternity services continues to decline and does not cover the cost to provide this service. Therefore, this very tough decision was made based on current consumer preferences for maternity care, the safety of our patients, physician and staff resources and financial performance data.”

Expectant mothers scheduled to deliver at SRMC after June 30 will be contacted in the next few days in regard to transitioning to other maternity providers. “We are collaborating with area maternity centers,” said Anita Hackstedde, SRMC president and CEO.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.