Lourdes Health Network Closing Obstetrics Department - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Lourdes Health Network Closing Obstetrics Department

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PASCO, Wash.-- The Lourdes Health Network in Pasco will no longer be delivering babies.

Expectant mothers will have to go to other local hospitals, but Lourdes assures patients they're growing in other areas to better serve the community.

The Lourdes Health Network is closing their obstetrics unit that's delivered babies for 100 years.

They say it's the best way to use their resources for the community's needs.

The hospital has maintained about 400 deliveries a year and administrators say that just isn't enough to support the unit.

Kadlec Regional Medical Center and Kennewick General Hospital are delivering most of the babies in the region.

Lourdes decided they will instead invest those funds in other growing departments like pulmonology, behavioral health and a new joint and spine center.

"We'll still support them pre and post delivery through our physicians and clinics and we'll move some of those resources that we were expending there to cover other services that are needed and need to grow," said John Serle, President and CEO of Lourdes Health Network.

The obstetrics department closure will cut up to 65 jobs, but the hospital does have other openings that may be filled by workers.

Lourdes will deliver babies for one more month before closing the department.

One local man at the hospital Wednesday said he was born at the hospital in the 1930's and was sad to see the unit close.

Hospital staffers understand some community members are sad to see it go, but they look forward to new development.