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Monday, 12 May 2014 09:17

Coshocton Hospital to close birthing center in June

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Hospital officials say obstetrics unit hurt by declining birth rate, aging population

COSHOCTON, Ohio -- Many Coshocton-area residents are reacting strongly to news that Coshocton County Memorial Hospital will close its birthing center next month.

The hospital announced last week that the obstetrics unit will close on June 27. Officials say that the decision was spurred by declining birth rates, an aging population and overall changes at the facility. Spokeswoman Mary Ellen Given said that the obstetrics unit lost $1.9 million in 2013, and was projected to cost the hospital even more this year. Coshocton Hospital delivers about 36 percent of babies in the market area.

Given said two physicians and the equivalent of eight full-time employees fall under the obstetrics unit. She said the hospital is working with those employees to move them other positions for which they are qualified.

The closure is the most recent in a number of changes implemented since Genesis Healthcare System took over the Coshocton Hospital in June 2012. It follows closely on the heels of 25 layoffs announced at the hospital in March.

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