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Sioux City Hospital Will Stop Delivering Babies

MercyOne Siouxland has decided to end obstetrics services, effective Sept. 1

MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center announced Thursday it will discontinue its obstetrics services.

MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center in Sioux City will no longer deliver babies starting Sept. 1, calling the decision one that will allow it to expand and invest in other services and programs not offered elsewhere in the region.

“We are committed to adapting to the changing health care needs of the community,” said Beth Hughes, the president of MercyOne’s Western Iowa Region, in a statement. “This decision was not taken lightly. We continually review the medical services we provide to ensure we are meeting our mission of transforming the health of our community.”

MercyOne Siouxland wants to invest more deeply in programs like cardiac surgery and geriatric services that are not available elsewhere nearby. Spokeswoman Jenna Rehnstrom said in an interview with IPR that MercyOne Siouxland recently started offering a minimally invasive procedure for people who are not good candidates for open heart surgery.

“Up until a month or so ago, patients would have to travel out of town for this surgery,” Rehnstrom said. “That’s one of the expansions we’re really investing in because we see that need in our community, we see that need to keep patients and families close and together and in their home communities.”

Rehnstrom also boasted MercyOne Siouxland has the only interventional radiology suite in the Tri-State area and is expanding that program.

With those investments and wanting to do more, the hospital and the board of directors took a close look at its labor and delivery services, the future of that and the local health care needs of the community.

“It was incredibly important that any decision we make, especially a decision that would impact the discontinuation of a service, would not put any group of patients or community members in the position where they didn’t have access to that care that they needed,” Rehnstrom said.

She continued, “And knowing that we need to focus in on opportunities to fill those gaps in our community and with a service like obstetrics, are those already being met?”

Employees in MercyOne’s obstetrics care department will be able to join other areas of care in the hospital. At the same time, expecting moms in and near Sioux City won’t be without labor and delivery services after MercyOne discontinues these services. Leah McInerney, a spokeswoman for Sioux City’s UnityPoint Health – St. Lukes, said that hospital delivers more than 2,000 babies per year and will be able to help care for more babies and their mothers.

“We are ready and able to care for the additional moms and babies that this closure will present,” McInerney said in an email. “We are working collaboratively with MercyOne Siouxland to make this as smooth of a transition as possible and will continue providing high-quality obstetric services to all expecting mothers.”

Katie Peikes was a reporter for Iowa Public Radio from 2018 to 2023. She joined IPR as its first-ever Western Iowa reporter, and then served as the agricultural reporter.