Sioux City’s MercyOne Medical Center has announced the facility will stop delivering babies on September 1st.

Spokesperson Jenna Rehnstrom says it was a difficult decision for the hospital and its board of directors to make. “This is the news that resulted after a thorough review, a discernment process, and really a close examination of the local healthcare needs and what is being demanded in our market and how we can best serve our community,”Rehnstrom says.

She says the staff in the obstetrics department will be provided opportunities to join other areas of care or transfer to other hospitals in the Mercy Health system.  “We’re not eliminating any positions. Nurses and medical professionals are always in high demand and this time is no different,” according to Rehnstrom. “So we definitely hope they chose to stay and continue to care for patients here at MercyOne Siouxland. Or there is always that opportunity within our network as well as the statewide system.”

The hospital had announced one week ago that they were studying what services they would continue to provide in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, which had caused a shift in care and use of resources. “This challenging time has made it very clear that we need to be more thoughtful than ever about how we are serving our community. You know, we were called on to serve some really sick patients and serve our community at a high level during our COVID-19 surge. And I am so proud of how our organization stepped up to do that,” Rehnstom says.

Rehnstrom says the decision to close the obstetrics department will allow MercyOne to expand other health care services and programs not currently offered in the region.  MercyOne will continue to serve labor and delivery patients and families through August 31st.  They are collaborating with area providers to notify patients of this change to efficiently transition care.

(By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)