Jameson to end childbirth services: 4 things to know

Jameson Hospital officials said Thursday that the New Castle, Pa.-based facility will no longer offer childbirth services beginning Sept. 1.

Here are four things to know about Jameson's decision.

1. The decision comes amid uncertainty of New Castle-based Jameson Health System's future merger with Pittsburgh-based UPMC. In February, the boards of directors of Jameson Health System and UPMC formally approved a definitive agreement to merge Jameson Health into the UPMC network. However, the deal has been delayed pending regulatory approval by the state attorney general, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Chuck Ardo, spokesman for Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, said Thursday morning that they "needed the time to do the careful evaluation of the proposal required to protect the interests of healthcare consumers," according to the report. 

2. Jameson Hospital cited the departure of one of its only two obstetricians, as well as the merger delay, as the reasoning behind the decision to cut childbirth services. "For more than nine months, our obstetrics program has been admirably maintained by only two obstetricians serving the needs of their patients as well as afterhours and emergent needs of our community," Doug Danko, president and CEO of Jameson Health System, said in a news release. "The uncertainty of our future merger with UPMC has led a local independent obstetrician to make a difficult decision to move her practice to another hospital where the manpower and shared call obligations provide a better opportunity for her. Our efforts to recruit additional OB-GYN doctors into our community during these uncertain times have not been successful; and as a result, obstetrical delivery services can no longer be sustained."

3. If OB emergencies present to the emergency department, the hospital's team will assess, provide emergency care, and transfer appropriately, officials said. Pregnant patients who are delivering after Sept. 1 will be appropriately notified and rapid transport agreements will be formalized with regional providers of obstetrical services to meet the patients' needs.

4. All Jameson Maternity Care Center employees in good standing will be eligible to bid on vacant positions available throughout Jameson Health System.

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