Rock Valley, Iowa — Citing difficulty finding qualified personnel willing to live in the area, the Rock Valley hospital says they will no longer deliver babies.
Hegg Health Center’s board of directors has announced that it is closing its inpatient labor and delivery unit effective January 1, 2021.
They tell us that pre-natal and post-partum care will continue in order to give expectant mothers the desired access to local care and to the quality of services they have come to expect.
The Board of Directors states that they have seen this decision coming for some time due to the extreme difficulty in finding general surgeons who are trained to perform C-sections and who are “willing to live and work in very rural areas of the Midwest like ours.” They also say that the regional group of hospitals that have traditionally worked together to employ surgeons to cover five northwest Iowa facilities including Hegg Health Center are “unable to employ enough general surgeons to adequately provide the 24/7/365 C-section coverage that is required.”
Glenn Zevenbergen, CEO of Hegg Health Center says “This decision has been extremely difficult and frankly is a decision that no one wanted to have to make. Continuing to provide high-quality and convenient care to the community is, and has always been a top priority for all of us at Hegg. Unfortunately, far too many hospitals across Iowa have been forced into similar decisions with at least 10 other hospitals ending delivery services in the last 2 years and nearly 40 since 2000.”
Hegg Health Center says its providers will continue to provide OB services, including local access for pre- and post-natal care services and ultrasounds. Hegg physicians will work with each expectant mother to provide a smooth transition leading up to their expected delivery at a facility of their choice. Well-child check-ups will continue at Hegg Medical Clinic as normal following the child’s birth.
Hospital leadership and the medical providers are developing a “shared care” program with area facilities in order to provide seamless care.
Two community forums will be held to answer questions: on Thursday, June 18 at 5:00 p.m. and Friday, June 19 at 1:00 p.m. in the Hegg Learning Center, located inside the Outpatient Specialty Services entrance. They advise you to please wear a mask if you have one available.