Birthing center at DePaul Hospital will stop delivering babies


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A large OB-GYN practice’s decision to leave Bon Secours DePaul Hospital is having a ripple effect.

In December, 10 On Your Side reported that WomanCare Centers PLC would no longer deliver babies at DePaul as of March 1. The practice is moving to Sentara Leigh Hospital on Kempsville Road.

At the time, a Bon Secours spokesperson said this did not mean that its Family Birth Center was closing, but things have since changed.

In a statement issued Tuesday, Bon Secours Mercy Health said that as a result of the OBGYN group’s transition there were significant resignations from the Family Birth Center nursing staff.

As is the case for announcing any operational change, we follow protocol of notifying affected audiences first, including impacted associates and patients. Another standard procedure is sending patients a transition letter that shares information regarding this change and identifies resources to assist them in developing a new birth plan/destination, including personalized access to nurse navigators to support them through this transition. Impacted employees are being offered assistance that will help during their personal transitions, including transitioning to other opportunities within Bon Secours, as appropriate.

Bon Secours media statement

Due to the high number of resignations, Bon Secours has decided that as of March 15, 2020, the Birth Center at DePaul will stop delivering babies.

Portia Kelley, who is eight months pregnant, found out about the closing from the news. She is now stressed because she doesn’t know where she will deliver.

She said when she called her OB-GYN office, they had also just been told DePaul was closing the birthing center.

“The doctors are absolutely awesome, and amazing, and they are super caring and it’s disappointing that not only are all the patients going through this, but I feel the doctors are going through this as well,” she said.

In 2018, Bon Secours merged with Mercy Health. After the merger, they closed the birthing center at Maryview Medical Center in Portsmouth.

To ease the transition, Bon Secours said it it working to ensure women receive the care they need to have the “best possible birth experience.”

Here’s how they say they’ll do it:

  • “We will provide additional in-practice patient care for women, including personal nurse navigation assistance, information on delivery options in the community, and emotional and clinical support to reassure the impacted patient population.
  • For walk-in maternity patients who present emergently to the facility, we will provide the normal medical screening and evaluation to determine appropriate care and/or transfer status. DePaul Medical Center will continue to ensure the competency and equipment needed to manage any emergent deliveries.
  • We will continue to work closely with our employed OBGYN physicians within our practice to ensure continuity of care to our patients. Existing patients at Hampton Roads OBGYN can remain with the practice for prenatal care and deliver at another facility.”

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