OB Hospital Closures


Contemporary OB/GYN will post links to reports on OB hospital closures to help illustrate the impact these closures have on their patients and maternal mortality rates. Be sure to check back often for the very latest links and information.

Of the many contributing factors to maternal mortality rates, the lack of easy access to maternity services and obstetric care is a major one. Mothers of color and those in rural areas are particularly impacted. More worrisome is the trend of several smaller hospitals around the country closing their obstetric services and forcing patients to drive, in some instances, over an hour for their prenatal care and for their delivery.

To help illustrate the impact these closures have on their patients, Contemporary OB/GYN will post links to these reports on our Hospitals Closures page, and we will include details about the source of the reports and the dates of publication.

Be sure to check back often for the very latest links and information.

No more babies to born at Sonoma Valley Hospital after OctoberN

Sonoma Index-Tribune 7/26/2018

"The Sonoma Valley Health Care District board voted Wednesday to close the hospital’s obstetrics department as a cost-cutting move, despite the entreaties of a standing-room-only crowd.e."


Hospital closure leaves soon-to-be mothers in rural Missouri without an OB-GYN

Marketplace 7/16/2018

"This latest closing happened in Dunklin County, Missouri, one of the poorest counties in the state. The hospital was home to the only OB-GYN physician in a region that has one of the highest premature birth and infant mortality rates in the state."


Sharon Hospital may close birthing center; doctors say they'll continue to provide services

The Register Citizen 7/4/2018

Only two of the four doctors who specialize in obstetrics and gynecology plan to continue their practice, said the public and community affairs manager for Health Quest, the company which owns the hospital. 


Ob/gyn doctor claims hospital chain killed his West Covina practice

Community Impact Newspaper 6/26/2018

"A former West Covina obstetrician and gynecologist is suing Citrus Valley Health Partners, accusing the hospital chain of negotiating in bad faith to buy his practice, then poaching the doctors he had employed to kill the practice."


Cy-Fair hospitals invest in women's health to keep maternal mortality rate low

Community Impact Newspaper 6/26/2018

Many hospitals near Houston are taking steps to reduce the maternal mortality rate through investments and renovation programs.


Good Samaritan Hospital closing day set

Dayton Daily News 6/22/2018

Good Samaritan Hospital (Dayton, OH) will close at 12:01 a.m. on July 23. A group of clergy in May filed a federal complaint saying the closure is a civil rights violation of black residents now served by the hospital. Obstetrics and gynecology was the first major health service to move out, and was transferred in April to Miami Valley Hospital.


No OB unit for Riverton hospital 

Gillette News Record 6/18/2018

SageWest Health Care no longer plans to reopen the obstetrics unit at its Riverton hospital (Riverton WY), according to CEO Alan Daugherty. The hospital had trouble recruiting obstetric doctors and nurses.


Sparrow Carson Hospital discontinuing inpatient obstetrics services as of May 25

The Daily News 5/31/2018

"[Interim President and CEO Bill] Roeser said Sparrow Medical Group OBGYN physicians in Carson City will work with their colleagues in Lansing to help patients find the best place to deliver their babies. Sparrow also has hospitals in Ionia and St. Johns. Patients will continue to receive pre- and post-natal care at Sparrow Carson and OBGYN physicians will assist expectant parents in developing a relationship with one of their Sparrow physician colleagues to deliver their babies in Lansing, according to Roeser."


Childbirth services will no longer be available at St. Joseph Hospital

The Journal Gazette 4/30/2018

Lutheran Health Network said today it has finalized plans to consolidate maternity services from Fort Wayne, IN, St. Joseph Hospital to existing programs at Dupont Hospital and Lutheran Children's Hospital. St. Joe will not offer childbirth services after May 6.


College Station Medical Center closing labor and delivery services

KBTX 4/17/2018

College Station Medical Center has announced the closure of its labor and delivery services. Planned childbirth services will no longer be available at the hospital effective July 16, 2018.


UMN study reveals maternity care risks in rural America

Minnesota Daily 3/25/2018

Declining access to maternity care in rural areas has led to worse health outcomes for babies nationwide, according to a new study from the University of Minnesota.


News 13 Investigates: Maternity ward shutdown (North Carolina)

ABC 13 WLOS 11/13/2017

Four hospitals in Western North Carolina have closed their labor and delivery units over the past two years. More services could be cut in the future. 


Why delivering babies is draining Maine's small hospitals

Bangor Daily News 11/13/2017

In less than a decade, at least three small Maine community hospitals have closed their obstetric departments, citing financial pressures and insufficient demand.


Rural America's disappearing maternity care

The Washington Post 11/8/2017

"Life in rural America can be tough, with challenges starting right from birth. Increasingly, rural women lack access to maternity services, jeopardizing their health and that of their newborns at a time when U.S. maternal mortality is rising."     


Closure of two D.C. maternity wards hurts low-income women most

Washington Post 10/28/2017

The ripple-effects stemming from the closure of two D.C. hospitals which primarily served the city’s poorest mothers are raising questions about how these mothers will get the prenatal care they need as well as how the surviving hospitals will cope with the influx of so many new patients.


Rural maternity wards are closing, and women's lives are on the line

Carolina Public Press & HuffPost 9/25/2017

“It is logistically challenging and expensive to staff a unit that must be ready for women day and night, and it is difficult to make enough money when there simply aren’t enough women coming in. Nationally, more than half of births are funded by Medicaid, which pays doctors back at a much lower rate than private health insurance plans. In rural areas, that percentage tends to be even higher. Malpractice insurance also plays a role…All of which means that delivering babies is a money loser for small hospitals already struggling to stay afloat.”


Another thing disappearing from rural America: Maternal care

ProPublica 9/5/2017

A new study shows that more than half of the country’s rural counties now don’t have hospitals with obstetric services. And women of color are being hit the hardest

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