New York hospital closing inpatient birthing unit

UVM Health Network – Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone, N.Y., is closing the hospital's maternity unit and adopting a regional approach to obstetrical care, hospital officials said in a March 29 news release.  

The move was attributed to low birth volumes. Hospital officials reported a more than 46 percent drop in births at Alice Hyde's maternity unit in fiscal year 2021 compared with fiscal year 2019.

"Like many rural hospitals, Alice Hyde has seen a significant decrease in births in recent years," Lisa Mark, MD, Alice Hyde's chief medical officer, said in the release. "This decline in volume makes it difficult for our team to remain prepared for complex and/or difficult births, as well as complications that can arise during pregnancy."

Michelle LeBeau, president of Alice Hyde and UVM Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh, N.Y., said Alice Hyde will continue providing pre- and post-natal care, gynecological care and surgical services, and women's health services. Emergency care will also be available at Alice Hyde for expectant mothers.

In October, Alice Hyde began diverting expectant mothers from the hospital's birthing unit to other obstetrics programs in the region because of staffing issues, according to the release.

Ms. LeBeau said Alice Hyde will continue to work directly with expectant mothers regarding their delivery care plans as the hospital moves to permanently close its birthing unit and adopt a regional approach.

Alice Hyde is part of the University of Vermont Health Network, a Burlington, Vt.-based integrated academic health system with locations in Vermont and northern New York.

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