BRIAR CREEK TOWNSHIP -- Expectant mothers in our area will have one less option for where they deliver a baby starting later this year.
Commonwealth Health announced it will stop delivering babies at its Berwick Hospital Center at the end of August.
"You get a lot of one on one care and you feel like you know the nurses," said Laura Chapin of Nescopeck, who is expecting her third child near the end of September. "They talk to you like a human being and not like a number or like that. We just enjoyed that down home hospitality that they had at Berwick Hospital."
Brianne Remphey and her fiance, Jeremy Steinruck, are set to be one of the last couples to deliver at the hospital. They admit they're lucky, and the whole moment will be even more special since both of them were born at that hospital as well.
"It just brings back memories," said fiance Jeremy Steinruck of Berwick.
A spokeswoman with Commonwealth Health says:
After reviewing our overall operations and the birth rate at our hospital, we are ending obstetric services at Berwick Hospital Center effective Aug. 31, 2017. We extend our sincere gratitude to the physicians and employees who have helped families as they welcome their newborns into the world. This move is not a reflection of their skills or dedication.
Unfortunately, the volume of deliveries at our hospital has remained low over the last few years, averaging fewer than three babies born at Berwick Hospital per week. This limited number of deliveries makes it difficult to sustain this service. We are making this change based on our commitment to provide all of our patients with safe, high quality care.
Our OB department will serve mothers and infants in our community through Aug. 31.
We do hope to retain all other women's services at the hospital, including gynecologic surgery, mammography and a full range of diagnostic services for women's health. Discussions are underway with our three skilled OB/GYNs - doctors Patrick Fiero, Richard Tomczyk Jr. and Ayesha Usman - and updates will be provided.
Patients who are experiencing a medical emergency - obstetrics-related or otherwise - can be assured that the Berwick Hospital emergency room has an experienced team trained to provide emergency medical care.
We will offer positions, where available, at Berwick Hospital and within the Commonwealth Health system for those staff members who are impacted by this move.
Chapin had her first two children at Berwick and was hoping to keep things the same for the third. But now, she's a little nervous she has to look elsewhere with just a little more than two months to go.
"I'm thinking we will probably have to deliver at Bloomsburg but we just love Berwick so much and we're so sad they're not delivering babies anymore," Chapin added.
The change is scheduled to go into effect August 31st.