Pasco hospital to stop delivering babies - FOX 13 News

Pasco hospital to stop delivering babies

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DADE CITY (FOX 13) -

Dade City has changed over the years -- just ask Nathan Poole. He grew up there, but left to go to college. He came back this weekend for a friend's wedding and immediately noticed a difference.

"I haven't been back in 10 years. It's an older crowd. It's more like a retirement community now," he says.

Back when he lived here, Nathan says it was all families.

"There were lots of families here, a very tight knit community. We all bonded together. Looked out for each other," he recalled.

But apparently many of those families have left. That's created a new situation for Pasco Regional Medical Center.

"There have been discussions going on for about two years about what to do", explained Pasco Regional CEO Shauna McKinnon. "As we sort of poured through the data and took a look at our community needs, it became apparent that we needed to look closer at the decisions for our future."

They decided Pasco Regional Medical Center is getting out of the baby business.

"The community is changing, our population is certainly aging, and national statistics are showing fewer women are having children. All of those changes and trends that the country is facing is certainly no different here in Dade City," McKinnon said.

But it's affecting this small town more than others. An aging community, plus rising medical malpractice premiums for OBs made the decision.

But it wasn't an easy one for hospital staff.

"Obstetrics is a sensitive spot for everyone, especially for the women in our community. And that is why we took such caution and time in making this decision," McKinnon said.

Since 2008, the number of deliveries at Pasco Regional has dropped. Now, they have about 230 births a year.

McKinnon says they will focus on needs the community does have. "Our needs are trending toward more cardiac services, orthopedic services, emergency services."

It'll be a big change for Registered Nurse Rosa Olivera.

She's been an OB nurse for five years at Pasco Regional. The nurses were given an option of transferring to another department.

Olivera will be moving to the ER.

"It's sad that they're closing it. But we're going to move on and we're happy to keep going and have a job," she said.

They will stop delivering babies on September 1st.

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