It appears that Ashtabula County may be without a place for expectant mothers to give birth for some time, as University Hospitals does not plans to offer labor and delivery services at its two county facilities.
On Aug. 1, ACMC’s maternity ward, the last in Ashtabula County, stopped delivering babies, and started referring expecting mothers to Hillcrest Hospital, in Cuyahoga County.
The two UH hospitals in Ashtabula County stopped delivering babies some time ago. UH Conneaut, then known as Brown Memorial Hospital, stopped delivery services in 2004, and UH Geneva stopped in 1998, according to UH.
UH Conneaut and Geneva still offer OB/GYN services for women, and UH Geauga offers labor and delivery services, according to a statement from UH.
In June, ACMC announced that it would close its skilled nursing unit and stop delivering babies at its OB ward. The Ohio Nurses Association, which represents nurses at ACMC, released a statement immediately after the move was announced, condemning the decision.
The group also created a petition asking ACMC president and CEO Michael Habowski to keep the units open. The petition has garnered almost 1,300 signatures.
ONA then went as far as filing a lawsuit against ACMC, claiming that closing the OB unit would have a severe impact on women’s health, and would violate the hospital’s agreement with ONA. A judge ruled against ONA in an emergency hearing, Habowski said on Monday.
ACMC is still offering OB appointments, with a specialist traveling to Ashtabula weekly to see patients at ACMC, according to the Hospital’s website.