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Women’s and Children’s Services closing at SSM

Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at 7:08 am

Staffing changes and consistently low patient volumes are leading to the closing of the Women’s and Children’s Services Department at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital-Audrain in Mexico, Mo. Patrick Wood, the Communication and Marketing Consultant for the SSM Health Mid-Missouri Region, confirmed reports of the closing on Monday with the following statement:
“SSM Health continually evaluates how to best meet the needs of patients while ensuring the long-term sustainability of quality health care in the communities they serve. This has been an increasing challenge at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital-Audrain where we have faced ongoing provider staffing challenges and consistently low patient volumes. We are losing two key providers next month, an OB/GYN and a pediatrician, who have been vital in providing these services in our community. Additionally, we will no longer have after-hours, weekend or holiday anesthesia coverage at the hospital after Feb. 28, 2019. Despite extensive efforts, we have been unable to recruit new providers to fill these needs. At the same time, we have seen a consistent decline in the number of babies born at the hospital each year. St. Mary’s Hospital-Audrain anticipates less than 200 total births in 2019, which isn’t enough to sustain a best practice full-service program. As a result, we have determined it is necessary to close the Women’s and Children’s Services department at the hospital and the Women’s Health Clinic and Pediatrics Clinic, effective Feb. 28, 2019.”
“We are committed to fully supporting all impacted employees through this transition and will be working with each individual to identify other open positions within SSM Health,” Wood continued. “We will also be working to ensure continuity of care for our patients by helping them transition to another local provider of their choice. While this decision was not made lightly, closing the Women’s and Children’s Services Department will allow our ministry to focus on providing other vital services in this community, including emergency services, primary care, outpatient services, and our senior care unit for behavioral health.”