Northwestern Medicine says they will end maternity services at McHenry Hospital next week

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File photo – Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital | Photo: Centegra Health

Northwestern Medicine has announced that its McHenry Hospital will cut labor and delivery services starting next Tuesday after a state board approved the change earlier this week.

The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board met on Tuesday and voted 7 to 1 to allow McHenry’s Northwestern Medicine Hospital to shut down its obstetrics and gynecology department.

Pregnant women will need to come to Northwestern Medicine Hospital in Huntley for labor and delivery.

A spokesperson for Northwestern Medicine said they are “centralizing” their obstetrics and newborn services in McHenry County by moving services from their McHenry Hospital to their Huntley Hospital.

“By providing these services in one location, Northwestern Medicine will be able to expand and improve the high quality obstetric care currently provided, including the newly added Maternal Fetal Medicine specialists at Huntley who are available to perform ultrasound scans. routine and treat patients who may have high-risk pregnancies, ”the spokesperson said in a statement.

“All outpatient services for women and children, including offices of obstetrics, gynecology and pediatrics, will remain in the communities of McHenry County and northern Kane County, ensuring that patients will receive care close to home. their place of residence and work. In addition, Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital will continue to offer gynecological surgeries, ”the statement added.

Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital will have an emergency obstetrician and gynecologist on call.

The transition of services is scheduled to take place at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, December 21.

The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board already held a public hearing on the matter in October.

Illinois State Senator Craig Wilcox of McHenry said he spoke out against the hospital’s request and posed several questions to Northwestern Medicine officials, which he said he did not have. got no response.

“Why [was] consolidation in Huntley was chosen, instead of consolidation in McHenry, which has almost twice as many births per year, and especially since Huntley is only 10 minutes from Sherman, ”he said. he asked in October.

“This morning I reiterated my objections and expressed my deep concern that significant gaps in access and care will materialize when pregnant women have to travel half an hour or more to give birth,” said Wilcox Tuesday.

“Today’s decision is not in the best interests of the communities I serve in this region. By adding at least half an hour to the trip to the hospital for childbirth, high-risk patients will be at a greater risk of devastating outcomes, ”said Wilcox.

Several McHenry County fire departments wrote letters to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board saying they disapproved of the plan, saying the change would delay the provision of high-level care to women pregnant.

“We are aligning the inpatient wards for women and children at Northwestern Medicine Huntley Hospital to deliver a high program in one location,” said Thomas McAfee, senior vice president of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare.

“With an established affiliation with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago for 24/7 internal neonatal and pediatric coverage, we are increasing the level of care we provide to newborns, children. and parents, close to home. McAfee mentioned.


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