Springfield, Brattleboro hospitals announce collaboration for childbirth services

Springfield Hospital
Springfield Hospital. Photo by Sharon Huntley.

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – At a special Board meeting held Tuesday, March 19, Springfield Hospital and Springfield Medical Care Systems voted to close the hospital’s Childbirth Center. After months of careful analysis and an additional week of listening sessions and analysis as employees, members of the medical staff, and the community shared information and insights regarding the continuation of the childbirth services at Springfield Hospital, the vote favored closure.

“We appreciate the dedication of our Childbirth Center and obstetrics staff that showed deep and unwavering commitment to our patients and the community throughout this process. As painful as this decision is, it will help Springfield Hospital continue to provide greatly‐needed access to other healthcare services for many years to come,” commented Mike Halstead, interim CEO for Springfield Hospital.

Springfield Hospital staff is working with expectant mothers to help them make other arrangements. A full range of gynecological services will continue to be offered at The Women’s Health Center of Springfield, including office visits and surgery. Women in need of gynecological services can continue to schedule appointments as they have in the past, by calling 802-886-3556.

For obstetric care, in collaboration with Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Brattleboro OB/GYN will establish an office in Springfield, Vt. Expectant mothers will be able to see one of the BOG providers for their pre- and post-natal care and deliver at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Birthing Center in Brattleboro, Vt. The BOG office will be open in Springfield at least two days per week and will be staffed by an OB/GYN physician, a certified nurse midwife, and an R.N. care coordinator.

Pre-natal services will be offered at the Springfield BOG office location, and lab work, ultrasound, and other testing will be provided at Springfield Hospital. Immediate R.N. care coordination services are available to current patients in their third trimester for immediate transfer and review of care in collaboration with Springfield Hospital clinicians. Additional services offered include Centering Pregnancy and childbirth education classes. BOG clinicians will also be available to provide gynecological surgical services at Springfield Hospital as needed.

The BMH Birthing Center is a member of the Northern New England Perinatal Quality Improvement Network, offering eight private, recently renovated rooms, epidural services, a volunteer doula program, tub births, as well as pre- and post-natal support groups and education services. Transportation assistance is available to help with transportation needs.

The Women’s Health Center of Springfield will contact expectant mothers to help them transfer their care. Each will receive a certified letter and a phone call confirming the closure of Springfield Hospital’s Childbirth Center effective June 1, 2019. Additional information will be provided to help them make personal choices for their pre-natal care and childbirth.

To assist in this process, Springfield Hospital will host a Meet and Greet event Monday evening, April 8, from 6-8 p.m., in Springfield Hospital’s Level D Conference Room. Expectant parents are invited to meet care teams from Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Brattleboro, Vt.; Cheshire Hospital, Keene, N.H.; Rutland Regional Hospital, Rutland, Vt.; and Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Lebanon, N.H. Medical records personnel will be available that evening to expedite a smooth transition for anyone wishing to transfer records at that time. The Springfield Area Parent Child Center will also attend offering information on the children’s integrated services program.

“While we regret the need for closure of Springfield Hospital’s Childbirth Center, we also recognize that childbirth is a special time for families. We want to continue to make high quality, accessible and cost effective obstetric services available locally in our region,” said Halstead. “We are focusing our efforts on the future and are working collaboratively with area hospitals in developing a regional solution to make obstetric services locally available.”

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