Allen County Regional Hospital will cease delivering babies in November, according to a press release this morning.
The closest hospital that provides such services is Chanute’s Neosho Memorial Regional Hospital.
Saint Luke’s Health System, which manages the local hospital, said the change will become effective Nov. 14. Women who plan to deliver after Nov. 11 will need to find other arrangements.
The decision was made because of the low number of deliveries at ACRH and the lack of a sufficient number of qualified physicians to provide adequate on-call and backup coverage.
“Maternity programs face unique challenges because regulations require providers to live near the hospital so they can provide consistent 24/7 on-call services and back-up support,” said Steve Schieber, CEO of Saint Luke’s Critical Access Region. “This can be especially challenging for rural hospitals who need to recruit and retain multiple highly skilled physicians and nurses to meet this requirement. These challenges, coupled with the very low number of deliveries each year, made it clear we can better serve the community by adding and expanding other women’s services not readily available in the market.”
The hospital will offer 3D mammography and expand the number of specialists available to Iola patients.