Petition launched in support of Palmyra deliveries - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Petition launched in support of Palmyra deliveries

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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –Palmyra Medical Center wants your support for its plan to start delivering babies. Last year the state granted the hospital a Certificate of need to start an obstetrics unit. Phoebe Putney appealed and lost but may continue to fight. Now, Palmyra is reaching out to the public.

Last week Palmyra started sending out mailers. They ask people to sign an online petition if they are in favor of a new birthing center. So far more than 300 people have signed up.

Erin Gooch is nine months pregnant and about to deliver her second child.

"I don't care if its a boy or a girl as long as its a healthy baby and a safe delivery and a good outcome that's what matters most important to me," said Gooch.

Gooch moved to Albany from Stuart Florida when her husband took a job at Palmyra. In Florida, she had three hospitals to choose from for her first delivery.

"When I learned I would need ob services I was very surprised I wouldn't have any choice and the next closest facility is over 30 miles away. For a pregnant woman that is not very reasonable," said Gooch.

Almost a year ago, Palmyra was granted a certificate of need to begin providing OB-GYN services and open a new birthing center. But appeals from competitors have slowed down the process.

In a statement from Phoebe Putney, officials say they are appealing because its in the best interest in the community and because there is no need for another service.

 A series of mailers have been sent out to the public one of which is asking for the public's support on a brand new birthing center.

"Hundreds have come in the couple of days that this has been mailed out it gives us a good idea that the public at large really does want choice," said Eric Riggle, Marketing Director at Palmyra.

Gooch says she wants to have options for her delivery.

"You speak with other women who have just had babies and you find out what their experiences are you take the good and the bad and then decide for yourself," said Gooch.

Palmyra says once they receive final approval and all appeals are exhausted they hope to deliver the first Palmyra baby in a year.

Click here to sign online petition

Phoebe Putney Response- December 7th, 2009:

We stand by our position. We are appealing because we believe it's in the best interest of the community.

We have consistently challenged this for 20 years for some good reasons. First is the safety of the mom and the baby. Choice comes in many forms. It's not a matter of choosing here or there, but choosing the best quality and technology. Child birth can go from the uncomplicated to the complex in a matter of seconds. That's why we have invested in the highest level of care for the citizens of this region. That's a choice the board of directors at Phoebe made 25 years ago.

The next reason is there is no need for another service. The number of births has been stable for many years and our population is not growing.  This decision negatively impacts existing quality of care for mother and baby.  Phoebe has provided the highest level of sophistication and technology and we have high volumes of Medicaid mothers and babies.  The minute a delivery has problems, a NICU team is in the room. Any redirection of insured patients will undermine the perinatal status for the region.  That is an adverse impact.  Our focus is always on providing the highest level of care for all citizens.   

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