PARIS, TN – Henry County Medical Center will suspend obstetric services for the foreseeable future, according to CEO John Tucker, who made the recommendation to the hospital’s Board of Trustees at Thursday’s monthly board meeting.
Calling it a very difficult discussion, Tucker said that HCMC will cease providing OB services on Sept. 1. “Despite the great care that Drs. (Pamela) Evans, (Sandra) Boxell, and (Katherine) Whitfield provide their patients at Paris Women’s Center and in our hospital, we have struggled with very low volumes for the past several months,” Tucker said.
He explained that the hospital will reorganize the Paris Women’s Center to begin offering only gynecologic services, while also working to expand relationships with neighboring facilities and physicians in order for patients to receive obstetric care.
Seeking ways to keep the hospital financially viable has been the main objective the last several months for Tucker and the board, he explained. “With the financial struggles that have been in place at our organization for the past several years, HCMC is on the verge of financial failure and would not be able to sustain beyond year-end had this difficult decision not been made.”
Tucker noted that HCMC is not alone when it comes to ceasing service lines, as rural hospitals across the county continue to close or suspend services at a high rate. “Over half of the rural hospitals in the country have already been forced to make this decision, so while this is very unfortunate, it has become almost the rule in rural America and not the exception.”