After steadfastly serving this community for nearly 70 years, Valley Health
Warren Memorial Hospital’s Women’s Care Center welcomed its
last patient this week. The decision to transition labor and delivery
services from Warren to Winchester Medical Center was more than just difficult;
it was filled with emotion and left our hospital family with a sense of
loss. As any doctor, nurse, therapist or other healthcare team member
who has ever worked on an OB unit can tell you, it is a privilege to help
parents welcome their newborns into the world.
It’s a harsh reality that many hospitals and communities across the
country have found themselves in similar distressing situations, where
low utilization of their birthing services coupled with challenges in
recruiting providers and concerns for patient safety have left very little recourse.
One of the factors that helped mitigate our decision at Warren was the
proximity of highly-specialized providers and comprehensive services available
within our own system at Winchester Medical Center. Valley Health has
made substantial investments and significant enhancements to its obstetrical
services, including obstetricians who are on site around-the-clock, a
dedicated OB emergency department and the region’s only level III
neonatal intensive care unit.
It isn’t an exaggeration to say that the closing of our Women’s
Care Center represents the end of an era. I want to take this opportunity
to publicly thank all of our staff members for their commitment, compassion,
energy and passion for serving our patients. Countless members of our
community are in your debt.
As with every end, there is also a beginning. We are excited and proud
to be in a position to build a new, thoroughly-modern facility that will
allow us to advance our level of care to better meet the changing needs
of our community. Life is filled with many unknowns, but we hope those
we are here to serve know that, regardless of what may divide us, Valley
Health is united in its commitment to provide exceptional patient care
for many years to come.
- Floyd Heater, Warren Memorial Hospital President