Stabler Hospital to close OB unit

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 30, 2002

This March, women of Butler County will say goodbye to one convenience offered by L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital (LVS), but will welcome new services that will be offered by the hospital.

This week, LVS announced that they will be closing its obsterics unit and will focus hospital operations on other women's services including gynelogical surgery capabilities, breast health, osteoporosis, menopause and general surgery services.

"As a community hospital, we

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have an obligation to balance service availability and the cost of services," said Tom McDougal Jr., chief executive officer for L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital. "By closing our obstetrical services, the hospital can reduce overall costs and refocus investments in services with much greater community demand."

The decision to close the unit was made by the medical staff, the board of directors and hospital executive team.

"Our job as board members is to assure the hospital's services are accurately reflecting community need and its resources are being appropriately used to meet the demand for healthcare services," said Earnest Dean, LVS board of trustees chair. "After much examination and debate, we have determined that resources being used to maintain an underutilized OB unit could be better invested to expand and enhance other services."

Although the obstetrics unit will be closing, McDougal said that nursing personnel in the department will be given the opportunity to remain on staff at the hospital.

Bill Thomas, M.D., chief obstetrician and gynecologist for LVS, said that he will maintain his practice in Greenville. "I want my patients to fully understand that I have made Greenville my home and will continue to be available to diagnose pregnancy and provide before-delivery care and after-delivery care for my OB patients," said Thomas. "I have established a relationship with obstetricians in Montgomery to perform deliveries. This is the only aspect of my practice that will change. I will use this opportunity to expand much needed gynecology services."