WESTERLY, R.I. (AP) — The financially struggling Westerly Hospital will stop delivering babies as of June 1.
The Westerly Sun reports (http://bit.ly/VlyFGp ) that hospital administrators told labor and delivery employees the news this week.
Dr. Christopher Lehrach, the hospital's chief transformation officer-interim operations, called the decision "very, very difficult." He said it follows years of review and uncertainty at the hospital's Women's Health Center. The number of births there has declined significantly.
The June date was set because of the imminent departure of a midwife and the fact that one of the hospital's two remaining obstetrics physicians is also leaving.
Westerly Hospital is in receivership, and Lawrence + Memorial Hospital is seeking to buy it. An L+M spokesman said the hospital supports the decision because of "low patient volume and the staffing shortage.
Information from: The Westerly Sun, http://www.thewesterlysun.com