North Carolina hospital opens maternity unit after 28-year closure

Chatham Hospital, a 25-bed critical access hospital in Siler City, N.C., opened its new maternity care center Sept. 8, 28 years after it discontinued maternity care, according to The News & Observer

Opening the new center was possible because of the hospital's affiliation with Chapel Hill-based UNC Health, North Carolina's largest academic health system. The system invested $2.6 million in the new center, according to the report. 

Chatham Hospital closed its maternity unit in 1992 due to low patient volume, which made it too expensive to operate the unit. However, that has changed due to population growth in the surrounding area. 

"It was important for UNC Health to provide these services because previously mothers had to drive an hour or more to get maternity care," Jeffrey Strickler, RN, president of Chatham Hospital, said in a statement to The News & Observer. "Our staff knows that Chatham Hospital is on the cutting edge with this project, and going against the national trend, so in some ways the eyes of the country are watching us."

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