St. Charles Health System is considering a plan that would stop all baby deliveries in its Redmond hospital.
The move would mean that Central Oregon, which as recently as 2009 had four hospitals that delivered babies, would now have only two: St. Charles Bend, the area’s largest hospital, and Mountain View Hospital in Madras would continue their birthing services.
Still, the plan is far from definite. Dr. Jeff Absalon, St. Charles’ Chief Physician Officer: “It may make sense, but we want to understand it fully before we take it any further.” He says patient volumes are one of the driving considerations behind the decision. St. Charles Bend has birthed fewer babies in recent years and this year is on track to deliver fewer than 1,500. A few years ago, it had more than 2,000 deliveries.