IU Health Paoli Hospital Obstetrics Unit to Remain Open
—PAOLI, Ind. Leaders from IU Health today announced that it has retracted the decision shared earlier this month to close the obstetrics unit at IU Health Paoli Hospital.
“The decision to remain open was made after many meaningful conversations over the past week between IU Health leadership, community leaders, healthcare providers and government officials about the unique characteristics and needs of the Orange County population,” said Larry Bailey, president IU Health Paoli Hospital.
Considerations resulting in the decision to remain open included the disproportionate amount families living in poverty in the Paoli area, an Amish population that may have difficulty traveling outside the county and the strong desire amongst multiple stakeholders and IU Health to work together to work toward a solution that would best serve the healthcare needs of local families.
IU Health and community partners plan to explore funding sources for the benefit of serving the vulnerable population who seek care in Orange County.
A similar decision to close OB units had been implemented at five other critical access hospitals in the IU Health System without adverse effects for patients. In those communities, as was the plan in Paoli, IU Health increased access to locally based OB/GYN physicians to ensure high quality pre and postnatal care.
“These last several weeks have made us acutely aware of the value of our community’s health resources. We are exceeding grateful that the IU Health system decided to lead the way by choosing to advocate for equitable health care over cost considerations. Now it’s up to us find ways to work with them for improved outcomes across the spectrum. The next step for all of us is to speak up loudly for national funding to cover the cost of maternity care and other health services in disadvantaged communities.”
- Yolanda Yoder MD, Southern Indiana Community Health Care