Huntingdon maternity ward closing

Local News

Women in one area community will soon have to travel farther from home to give birth. After November 6, J.C.  Blair Memorial Hospital in Huntingdon will no longer deliver babies.

The hospital says the decision came after years of financial challenges and declining births.

According to J.C. Blair, the number of births no longer supports the cost of medical staff and other costs to keep the maternity unit open.

The two obstetricians and a nurse practitioner who’ve been handling births at J.C. Blair have signed on with UPMC Altoona.

They’ll continue to have offices at J.C. Blair, but babies will be delivered at Altoona.

Women will also be able to turn to another small hospital in the region, with thriving labor and delivery services.

About 400 babies a year are delivered at Conemaugh Nason Medical Center in Roaring Spring.

CEO Tim Harclerode says, “Our company is a rural hospital provider and we feel like in rural communities, OB is a key service line,  it is a vital service line,  and we are fully committed to keeping that service line not only keep it but continuing to grow that service line.”

Harclerode says the hospital has three full-time OB/GYN physicians and has at times had to bring in another to help meet the need.

But Nason will be happy to accommodate new moms and babies.

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