SCRANTON -- There will soon be another option for moms to deliver babies in Lackawanna County. Officials announced Tuesday morning that Geisinger Community Medical Center is getting maternity care.
In just 18 months, the third floor of Geisinger Community Medical Center will once again be the hospital's maternity center. This Scranton location will now be the second option in Lackawanna County for expectant moms and babies.
In 2007, Community Medical Center closed its doors to maternity care, but now the hospital in Scranton is bringing babies back in a new $15 million maternity center as part of Geisinger's Women and Children's Institute.
"Sheer excitement," said Tammy Crinella, a Geisinger RN. "I am so happy it is coming back to where it belongs."
Right now, Moses Taylor is the only hospital in Lackawanna County for expectant moms and babies. Moses Taylor does about 2,500 births a year.
"I think it's too much for one hospital to handle and it is just a great experience that we will be able to have it again at Geisinger," Crinella added.
Keith Wojciechowski and his partner delivered 2-year-old Logan at Moses Taylor. He says having more options in the future is never a bad thing.
"Monopoly in health care is definitely detrimental to the general public," he said.
Geisinger's labor and delivery facility will bring new jobs to the Scranton location, including nurses and midwives. In fact, GCMC's midwife program will be the first in Scranton offered by a hospital system.
"The more we continue to expand these programs, the more impact it will have locally," said chief administrative officer Ron Beer.
Nurses who used to work in CMC' s O.B. and have now transferred to different units throughout GCMC were emotional as the official announcement came in Tuesday morning. They say bringing babies back to the hospital in Scranton will also bring back a new energy the hospital has been missing.
"The opportunity to touch so many lives, the miracle of birth, that just can't be beat," said Sheri Riley, a Geisinger RN.
"Our goal is to make it something that differentiates from what Moses Taylor does. We want to give people a different option, and a different opportunity," Beer added.
The facility is set to open in 2019, initially with seven labor and delivery rooms and 11 postpartum suites.
Moses Taylor Hospital, the nearest hospital providing maternity care sent a statement saying:
"Providing high-quality services for women and children in Lackawanna County and the surrounding communities has always been a priority for Moses Taylor Hospital. We have consistently enhanced those services during the last few years and a specialty hospital for Women’s and Children’s Services is a key component of the 20/20 plan for Scranton."