|As of June 22, 2009, there will be no more babies born at Abbeville Area Medical Center.
The hospital’s Board of Trustees made the difficult decision to discontinue the hospital’s obstetrical service at its May meeting. The Medical Staff and administrative team were also both in agreement.
“The decision was not taken lightly and was the result of several months of research,” said Rich Osmus, CEO.
Six employees will be affected, who will have first option of taking any other available nursing position in the hospital for which they are qualified.
The decision stemmed from a number of factors, beginning with a decrease in the number of births at the hospital.
“Deliveries have decreased from 222 in 2000 to 101 in 2008, and the population forecast in Abbeville County indicates there will be a decrease in women of childbearing age in coming years,” stated Osmus.
According to Osmus, the hospital is financially sound, but continues to look at how it needs to focus its efforts and resources to build services that would grow and increase revenue to ensure a strong future of the hospital.
Surgery is one of those areas. With the recruitment of Dr. Chris Ceraldi as well as Drs. Carson and Rapp from Premier Surgical Services and Drs. Parramore, Thomas and Konsek from Greenwood Surgical Associates serving our community, AAMC has the opportunity to increase the number of surgeries done at the facility.
In the meantime, physicians who currently deliver at AAMC are in the process of notifying their patients that, after June 22nd, they will be delivering at other area hospitals. The hospital will, however, continue to provide prenatal care, gynecological services and surgeries through Dr. Walter Bishop of Abbeville OB/GYN and Dr. Michael Gentry of Turning Point Women’s Center. Greenwood Obstetrics and Gynecology, who recently opened a satellite office in Abbeville, will also be providing women’s services to AAMC.