St. Joseph's Hospital to close maternity ward Sept. 10

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Saint Paul, Minn.-based St. Joseph's Hospital will shutter its maternity ward Sept. 10, according to the Pioneer Press.

The hospital attributed the decision to a decreasing volume of mothers giving birth at the downtown location.

"We routinely evaluate volumes and market projections to ensure our services are aligned with the needs of our communities," John Kvasnicka, MD, vice president of medical affairs at HealthEast, Saint Joseph's parent company, said in a statement to the Pioneer Press. "Those projections show that more moms-to-be will be delivering their babies at our St. John's Hospital in Maplewood and Woodwinds Health Campus in Woodbury while we see a steady decline of maternity patients at St. Joseph's with no projected improvement in the future."

Maternity patients will still receive care at St. Joseph's through Sept. 7.

Maternity ward staff were informed of the closure on Tuesday. A Minnesota Nurses Association spokesman told the Pioneer Press that hospital officials said MNA members would remain employed after the maternity ward closes.

Saint Paul-based HealthEast merged with Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services earlier this year.

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