IOLA, KS – Allen County Regional Hospital announced today plans to close their maternity care program on November 14, 2020. Pregnant women planning to deliver at Allen County Regional Hospital after November 11 will be contacted by their family practice physician to make alternate arrangements.
The decision comes after several months of review, taking into consideration the consistent low volume of deliveries and the lack of a sufficient number of qualified physicians to provide adequate on-call and backup coverage.
“Maternity programs face unique challenges because regulations require providers to live near the hospital so they can provide consistent 24/7 on-call services and back-up support,” said Steve Schieber, CEO of Saint Luke’s Critical Access Region. “This can be especially challenging for rural hospitals who need to recruit and retain multiple highly-skilled physicians and nurses to meet this requirement. These challenges, coupled with the very low number of deliveries each year, made it clear we can better serve the community by adding and expanding other women’s services not readily available in the market.”
One of those services is 3D mammography, which the hospital expects to begin offering in early 2021.
“I am proud to announce we will be bringing 3D mammography to Iola,” said Elmore Patterson, Allen County Regional Hospital Administrator. “This has been a significant gap in service for the past several years. We’re eager not only to be able to offer this vital service to patients again, but to also offer them the most advanced technology available.”
In addition to 3D mammography, the hospital plans to continue to expand its specialty care offerings by increasing the number of specialists who travel to Iola for clinics or are accessible to patients via telemedicine. Efforts are also underway with the Saint Luke’s Muriel I. Kauffman Women’s Heart Center to introduce the Million Hearts Initiative and its focus on reducing strokes and heart attacks through important preventive measures including blood pressure monitoring, education, and nutrition.
About Saint Luke’s Health System
Saint Luke’s is a faith-based, not-for-profit, aligned health system committed to providing the highest levels of excellence in compassionate health care and health-related services. Saint Luke’s has more than 18 hospitals and campuses and more than 200 primary care and specialty offices treating patients in 65 specialty services across 67 counties in Missouri and Kansas. Saint Luke’s has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the elite hospitals in the nation. For more than 135 years, Saint Luke’s has been dedicated to enhancing the physical, mental, and spiritual health of the diverse communities we serve. Follow us: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn