Obstetrics, hospice care programs close Monday at Sturgis Hospital; layoffs expected

(WWMT/Courtesy of Sturgis Hospital)

Sturgis Hospital is closing its birthing center and canceling its hospice care programs.

Both services are being cut as part of a major reorganizing of the hospital’s operations, designed to cut costs and increase efficiency, administrators said.

The changes are effective Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. Staff layoffs are expected.

“We have done a substantial amount of work over the past year to reduce costs and weather the changing landscape of health care,” hospital President and CEO Robert LaBarge said in a written statement on the changes.

“Health care is continually changing,” LaBarge said. “The old ways don’t work for a small hospital any longer, so we have to embrace new ways of doing things. It’s time to restructure our operations in a way that is consistent with what we believe the future of health care will be for rural communities.”

Managers at the hospital, and the Board of Directors, said in the statement the plan will allow the hospital to continue to provide the services the community needs most.

The operational changes touch on an equivalent of about 60 full-time positions. However, administrators said the actual number of staff members laid-off might be smaller.

LaBarge said that 80 percent to 85 percent of the hospital’s activities are outpatient services.

“These activities include services provided by our doctors, diagnostic testing, treatment centers, outpatient surgery and urgent care/emergency services,” LaBarge said. “Our goal is to keep the most in-demand services available locally and partner with other health systems to supply inpatient and specialty medical services.”

Other departments the hospital has closed include the wound clinic, home health, pain clinic and an urgent care center in Constantine. The oncology treatment center also closed.

The hospital also is reducing inpatient medical/surgical services; four staffed inpatient beds will remain. Additionally, the emergency department will be adjusting staffing and structure to meet current needs.

Those changes, administrators said, will allow the hospital to focus on its core services:

Outpatient Services that will remain available at the onset of the new plan include:

  • emergency department
  • family doctors, internal medicine physicians and surgeons
  • outpatient surgery
  • diagnostic radiology (X-Ray, MRI, CT)
  • laboratory services
  • urgent care
  • rehab services (physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy
  • sleep medicine center
  • cardiac rehabilitation

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