Medical center out of the baby business Aug. 1

August 1 has been set as the date when obstetrical services will end at Greene County Medical Center, but staff will maintain training for competency in emergency room births.

Medical center CEO Carl Behne told the hospital trustees at their regular meeting June 23 that looking at the births anticipated in the coming months, there’s a “window” around Aug. 1. Until then, Valerie Martin, ARNP, CNM is delivering babies with support by Dr Linda Iler of Carroll.

All expectant mothers being seen at Advanced Women’s Care, the medical center’s OB/GYN clinic, have been notified, Behne said.

The medical center staff accepted the resignation of OB/GYN Dr David Jaskey effective May 9. The board of trustees voted at their May 26 meeting to discontinue obstetrical services.

Behne told the trustees that the necessary paperwork is in progress with the Iowa Department of Public Health to reallocate the three OB beds on the medical center’s license to medical/surgical beds. The medical center has a total of 25 licensed beds.

The OB beds, because of their proximity to the emergency department, will likely be used for “extended ER,” chief nurse executive Katie Heldt explained. Patients who require more observation before they are discharged, transferred to another facility or admitted to acute care could be put in a former OB room.

All OB nurses are cross-trained in acute care; no nursing positions will be lost. Heldt said the nurses would continue to be “OB competent.” “It’s no different than it ever was. Somebody could come into the emergency room at any time and deliver a baby. We won’t have the advanced fetal monitoring and that type of thing…but the nurses will still need to know how to do a precipitous delivery and all of the complications associated with OB. That training doesn’t change,” Heldt said.

Statistics given as part of the financial report show that clinic visits to Advanced Women’s Care have not changed much with the departure of Dr Jaskey. April was the last month he saw patients there; total clinic visits were 107. Clinic visits in May totaled 104. Since the beginning of the year, total clinic visits were 97 in January, 103 in February, and 116 in March.


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