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KAH Closing Obstetrics Unit

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The head of the firm helping manage Keokuk Area Hospital says the decision to stop providing a key service came down to usage.

The hospital’s obstetrics unit will close effective April 15.  The closure covers labor & deliver, postpartum and the Tri State Medical Group’s Women’s Health Center.

Duane Fitch with Fitch Healthcare says the decision was not an easy one.

“The patient volume for the obstetrics unit has declined substantially over the last five years,” says Fitch, “so based on that assessment, we made the decision to move forward in this direction.”

Fitch says obstetrics unit employees will be able to transfer to a new job.  He says if there is no job available, though, the employee will be let go.

Fitch says neighboring hospitals have been notified of the closing, but he would not elaborate on which facilities had been contact.

Anyone scheduled to deliver on or before April 15 will still be able to do so in Keokuk.

Fitch says it is important for people to know that the rest of Keokuk Area Hospital remains open for business and that the facility is actively recruiting to fill certain positions.

The hospital recently announced plans to lay off two-dozen employees.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.