Hospital’s ‘Save L&D’ panel meets Friday

Published 3:24 pm Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ten members of a 12 member committee met at Byran W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital yesterday morning charged with saving the facility’s labor and delivery department.

After nearly an hour and a half, the meeting adjourned with no solution but with the resolve to explore several avenues over the next 14 days.

“The purpose of this group is to keep labor and delivery open,” co-chairman Dr. Alex Curtis said, “but part of this is to look at where OB sits in this whole situation.”

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The “whole situation” is the more than $3 million the hospital lost last fiscal year and the role that labor and delivery played in that.

“We’re (OB) about $500,000 of a $3.2 million loss,” Curtis said. “Obviously, there’s other things that can be addressed.”

Late last month, the BWWMH Hospital Board elected to close its labor and delivery department as part of a more than $3 million cost-cutting plan.

However, two weeks ago, the same board opted to keep the unit open while a committee of OB doctors, board members and governmental leaders worked to find ways to keep the facility open while preserving the financial viability of the entire hospital.

The committee will reconvene in two weeks where it expects to be presented with the financial viability of a hospital/physician partnership and potential sources of supplemental revenues.