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Brattleboro Memorial Hospital to offer obstetric services in Springfield, Vt.



Valley News Staff Writer
Saturday, March 23, 2019

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. — Brattleboro Memorial Hospital plans to open a part-time obstetrics office in Springfield in collaboration with Springfield Hospital as the latter facility shuts down its birthing center later this spring, officials said on Saturday.

Brattleboro Obstretrics and Gynecology will open an office at least two days a week in Springfield that will enable expectant mothers to see a provider for pre- and post-natal care. They would then deliver their babies at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital’s eight-bed birthing center, according to a news release from Springfield Hospital.

The prenatal services would be provided at Springfield Hospital’s obstetrics/gynecological office location and staffed by an OB-GYN physician and certified nurse midwife, and also have care from a registered nurse, according to the news release. Lab work, ultrasounds and other testing would take place at Springfield Hospital, according to the release.

Other planned services under the new arrangement include “centering pregnancy” and childbirth education classes, the release said.

Springfield Hospital officials on Wednesday said they will close their birthing center, where 152 babies were born in fiscal year 2018, by June as the financially struggling hospital tries to shave several million dollars of expenses from its budget.

Because Brattleboro is roughly 45 minutes south of Springfield along Interstate 91, and a number of Springfield Hospital’s patients don’t own a car, some transportation assistance will also be offered, the release said.

Springfield Hospital plans to host a forum at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 8, where expectant parents can meet care teams from Brattleboro as well as from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and hospitals in Keene and Rutland, which have birthing centers as well. Springfield Hospital medical records personnel will be on hand to help “expedite” the transfer of records for those choosing to do so that evening, the news release said.

The Women’s Health Center of Springfield also is contacting each expectant mother currently under Springfield Hospital care to help them decide where to find prenatal care and have their babies.

“We want to continue to make high-quality, accessible and cost-effective obstetric services available locally in our region,” Springfield Hospital Interim CEO Michael Halstead said in the release. “We are focusing our efforts on the future and are working collaboratively with area hospitals in developing a regional solution to make obstetric services locally available.”

Although the birthing center in Springfield is closing, Springfield Medical Care Systems, the hospital’s parent company, will continue to offer gynecological services at The Women’s Health Center of Springfield.

Posted at 1:05 p.m. Saturday.