UVMC ceases labor and delivery services


TROY — In recent years, Premier Health has made considerable progress in charting a path to care, teach, innovate, and serve our local communities in sustainable ways. Along the way, we have identified areas of unmet need and have grown to address those needs. They also have had to make difficult decisions in response to evolving patient preferences and industry challenges.

For a variety of reasons outlined below, Premier Health has determined it necessary to discontinue labor and delivery services at Upper Valley Medical Center. The hospital’s labor and delivery services will cease operations on Feb. 29, with the last delivery taking place on or before Feb. 21.

Labor and delivery is a service commonly associated with a full-service community hospital, so this decision was not made lightly, and only after considering the following factors:

A declining birth rate locally and outmigration of births

The number of births at UVMC in 2023 was about half of what it was less than a decade ago. This averages out to fewer than one delivery each day at the hospital.

In 2022, 70 percent of patients living in Miami County left the county for obstetrics delivery services. In the first quarter of 2023, across Miami, Darke, and Shelby counties, Miami Valley Hospital accounted for 23.4 percent of births, while UVMC accounted for 16.4 percent of births.

Challenges around physician recruitment are industry-wide, especially at smaller community-based hospitals, resulting in locums expenses that are not sustainable.

Officials at premier Health said, “While the decision to close the hospital’s labor and delivery unit was not easy, these factors all made the need for it obvious.”

UVMC and Premier Health remain committed to provide meaningful women’s services to area patients:

Their Premier Women’s Center office at 101 Looney Road in Piqua will continue to provide local obstetrics patients with both prenatal and post-natal care.

Gynecological surgery will continue to be performed at the hospital.

The hospital will open its new Women’s Imaging Center in March 2024.

Patients also can expect a seamless transition to the Berry Women’s Center at Miami Valley Hospital’s main campus through collaboration with physicians there. Miami Valley Hospital’s high-risk maternity unit and Level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) – both in the same facility – makes it a tremendous asset to mothers and babies throughout the region.

In addition, Premier Health will work with staff to find comparable positions within the health system. Retraining will be provided for those staff who choose to move into other specialties.

“Our gratitude goes out to the labor and delivery and special care nursery staff, many of whom have devoted decades of their career to playing a role in the delivering of babies in Miami County,” said Kevin Harlan, president of Upper Valley Medical Center and Atrium Medical Center. “This is a special role, and they handle it with reverence and as the privilege that it is.”

No posts to display