Illinois hospital ending inpatient pediatric services

FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport, Ill., is discontinuing inpatient pediatric services, effective Oct. 3.

The hospital announced the news Sept. 23, saying it will "partner with a number of regional hospitals to provide inpatient pediatric hospital care."

FHN Memorial Hospital will still provide pediatric services in the emergency department. It will also continue to offer pediatric office visits and outpatient surgical services, including tonsillectomy, orthopedic repair and laparoscopic appendectomy.

"This decision was not made lightly. As we have been able to offer advanced outpatient care in the office setting, the number of hospitalized pediatric patients at FHN has decreased by 54 percent over the past three years," FHN Executive Vice President, COO/Chief Nursing Officer Kathryn Martinez, MSN, RN, said in a news release. "When there is a low volume of inpatient pediatric patients, it is difficult to maintain the expertise and skill required to meet the clinical and developmental needs of our pediatric patients."

Ms. Martinez also said FHN's collaboration with other organizations such as Madison-based University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics, OSF Children's Hospital of Illinois in Peoria and other facilities "is in the best interest of our smallest and most vulnerable patients and is in alignment with FHN's vision of delivering healthcare excellence to our community."

FHN Memorial Hospital is part of the FHN regional healthcare system.

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