Monday, June 8, 2009

Consumer Q&A with PeaceHealth re Birth Center Services During Construction

Women and families affected by the upcoming temporary relocation of Birth Center services are invited by PeaceHealth to attend an information meeting on Wednesday, June 10 from 5p.m. to 7p.m. in the auditorium of Sacred Heart Medical Center University District located at 1255 Hilyard Street in Eugene.

The temporary relocation coincides with last week’s announcement by PeaceHealth that construction of the new Nurse Midwifery Birth Center at RiverBend begins July 13. During the 10-month construction phase, pre and post-partum services will be moved to the second floor of the PeaceHealth Medical Group’s Downtown Eugene clinic at 1162 Willamette. All midwife-assisted births will take place at Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend.

During a May 26 interim-planning meeting at which Friends of the Birth Center was invited to comment, PeaceHealth agreed to develop a FAQ sheet addressing the following concerns:
  • Communicate why the interim plan does not include out-of-hospital birth
  • Why there was a delay in communication with current clients
  • Acknowledge commitment to sustaining all services
  • Commit to securing full re-accreditation including the freestanding birth center accreditation and the UNICEF/WHO Baby Friendly designation
  • Describe plans to engage Birth Center moms, past and present, in developing interim practices
Friends of the Birth Center anticipates these concerns being addressed at the June 10 meeting. Per feedback from expectant mothers, we have also asked PeaceHealth to address questions about costs. Birth Center clients, especially out-of-pocket payers, are concerned about incurring unanticipated expenses as a result of the interim plan. We hope pricing estimates will be honored for women who, in good faith, have already initiated care.

Friends of the Birth Center appreciates PeaceHealth’s commitment to provide information about interim services. We believe the June 10 meeting will assist women, who until last week anticipated out-of-hospital birth and breastfeeding services, to determine the best course for their continued care.

In the months since Friends of the Birth Center formed and began working with PeaceHealth, much has been accomplished to secure the long-term future of the Birth Center. Despite and especially because of significant concerns about interim service delivery, we value and look forward to continuing the community/client-provider partnership with PeaceHealth.

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