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October 24, 2021

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Babies will no longer be delivered at Bluffton Hospital

Of the 33 critical access hospitals in Ohio, only 9 continue to offer labor and delivery services

Babies will no longer be delivered at Bluffton Hospital.

Instead, labor and delivery services, which moved to Findlay in December due to the covid-19 pandemic, will remain in Findlay.

The announcement made today, May 7, from Blanchard Valley Health System follows:

Blanchard Valley Health System (BVHS) will maintain the consolidation of labor and delivery services to the Findlay main campus. Bluffton Hospital labor and delivery services temporarily closed in December of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over the last several decades, BVHS has consistently invested in maintaining obstetric services at Bluffton Hospital. During that time birth rates have fallen, and more and more women are having babies at a later age.

"This has steadily increased the acuity and risk factors for mom and baby. This was not an easy decision,” said Myron D. Lewis, president and chief executive officer of BVHS.

“Our OB-GYN office remains open. Our physicians and midwives will be readily available in the Bluffton practice as they always have, to serve the community.

"All prenatal care will remain available at the office as well as gynecological surgery and prenatal classes at Bluffton Hospital,” said Valerie Johnson, BSN, RN, director of women’s health services.

Of the 33 critical access hospitals in Ohio, only nine continue to offer labor and delivery services.

“While Bluffton Hospital has always focused on quality services, the low number of deliveries means there is a higher risk to our patients,” said Barbara J. Pasztor, chief nursing officer and vice-president of patient care.

“By consolidating labor and delivery services to the Findlay campus, we can ensure that our moms and babies are receiving the safest possible care.”

“The experience that women have had in Bluffton Hospital labor and delivery has always been near and dear to our hearts,” added Pasztor.

“Blanchard Valley Hospital will work with patients, nurses, midwives and physicians to create a birthing center within the Findlay hospital. We will provide a home-like atmosphere, focused on families and a natural birthing experience.

"The added safety benefit will be nearby pediatricians and surgery staff to respond in the event of an unforeseen emergency.

"While this can’t replace Bluffton Hospital’s labor and delivery services, we are committed to re-create many of the special features for our families.”

“BVHS remains committed to maintaining quality care at Bluffton Hospital,” said Lewis.

“Our team at Bluffton Hospital has always raised the bar and provided exceptional service and patient experience. We continue to provide general medical inpatient services, outpatient services, surgery, podiatry, infusion therapy and specialty health services such as cardiology, gastroenterology, orthopedics, ear, nose and throat, general surgery, pain management and urology.”

Additionally, Bluffton Hospital also offers 24/7 emergency care, imaging, mammography, laboratory services, rehab services, wound care, cardio-pulmonary services and inpatient care.