Regional News

Senators Ask Hospital To Keep Birth Center Open

(Baker City, OR) -- The birth center in Baker City is set to close July 30th, forcing some expectant mothers to drive 45 miles to receive maternity care. In the winter, that can mean driving through a treacherous mountain pass. St. Alphonsus Hospital says it can't find enough nurses to staff the facility. Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are asking the St. Alphonsus Health System to delay the decision and consider federal and state assistance that can help. Large employers are offering financial help -- the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps has nurses, and licensing for registered nurses is being streamlined. The hospital system has operations in Baker City, Ontario, Nampa and Boise.

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