Concerns over service ending at Martin General Hospital

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Martin County commissioners voted last Wednesday to allow Martin General Hospital to stop labor and delivery services.

Commissioners approved the decision unanimously.

Melissa Greene is a former midwife at Martin General Hospital and Roanoke Women’s Health Clinic.

She was devasted and believes this decision will have a negative effect so many of lives.

Now forcing families to travel at least 30 minutes to the nearest birthing center.

Hospital leaders say the service care is costly and to maintain services the hospital needs 300 baby deliveries a year.

The hospital currently averages 160 deliveries.

But people in the community feel this will have a horrible effect on the entire county.

Another person was so upset by the decision and started a Facebook group “Fight for MGH OB/GYN” with nearly 500 women.

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The CEO of the Martin General Hospital has stepped down.

Reports state CEO Joanie White Wagoner stepped down Friday.

Last week the facility announced plans to discontinue the labor and delivery unit.

Hospital leaders say the service care is costly and to maintain services Martin General needs 300 baby deliveries a year.

The hospital currently averages 160 deliveries.

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WILLIAMSTON, N.C. (WNCT)– Martin General Hospital and the Martin County Board of Commissioners have discussed the discontinuation of inpatient and outpatient labor and delivery services effective on October 21 at 7 a.m. to better meet the community’s long-term needs. 

When the hospital was sold in 1998, the new owner entered into a 30-year lease agreement with the county, officials said.

Officials said that County Commissioners will consider an amendment to the lease agreement at their next public meeting on September 11, which will allow for this adjustment in service.

The hospital will continue outpatient and inpatient gynecological services and women’s health services.

This includes mammography services and breast biopsies at the hospital.

Roanoke Women’s Health Clinic will also continue to provide gynecological and women’s health services.

“Martin General Hospital continually reviews service line utilization and volume trends to ensure we’re meeting community needs while providing safe, high-quality care for patients,” said Joan White-Wagoner, CEO. Over the last several years, we have closely monitored our obstetrics service line and determined that the declining demand is not optimal to maintain a high-functioning unit. The golden number for maintaining optimal performance in an OB unit is 300 deliveries per year.” 

“These decisions are not made lightly, and we understand the emotional impact this has on our community,” explained White-Wagoner. We are forever grateful for the employees of OB services for their compassionate care for women and their families. We expect to offer a number of the OB employees continued employment in other hospital departments.”

Expectant families can continue to utilize several options for obstetrics services.

Within 35 miles, there are three birthing centers: Vidant Beaufort in Washington, Vidant Edgecombe in Tarboro, and Vidant Medical Center in Greenville.

White-Wagoner explained the hospital’s continued focus on “the services most needed in the community such as behavioral health and expanded cardiology services that better reflect our aging population’s health care needs. We look forward to serving the Martin County region in the future.”

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