Indiana already has a problem with lack of access to OB care. The closure of two birthing centers in Northeast Indiana could make it worse.
Parkview Health described the closures in DeKalb and LaGrange as “proactively consolidating labor and delivery services” as a “new care model.” For some, this means finding care elsewhere.
Cameron Memorial Community Hospital is about 30 minutes away from one of the locations — and now it might be the closest birthing center to many patients. Eric Clabaugh, the vice president of strategic growth at Cameron Memorial, said the area still has providers, but this could make regular appointments more difficult to get to.
“If it is a long drive and you can’t get out of work for a couple of hours, how does that impact your own personal wellbeing and care?” Clabaugh said. “But also the care that is needed for your little one?”
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Cameron Memorial is an independent critical access hospital, and Clabaugh says that allowed it to quickly react to the news of Parkview’s closures and adapt to new community needs.
“We had plans in place before things even became official just so we could respond immediately in the event something did happen,” Clabaugh said.
This isn’t a problem that’s unique to Northeast Indiana. 25 percent of counties in Indiana are designated maternity care deserts and an additional 28 percent have low or moderate access to maternal care.
Abigail is our health reporter. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.