For Immediate Release
Contact: Curt Squires, Public Relations Coordinator, (815) 842-4986
(May 15, 2023 | PONTIAC, Illinois) – As health care continues to evolve and grow, leading organizations including OSF HealthCare are looking at how best to provide the highest quality health care, now and into the future, for the communities we serve.
For OSF HealthCare, the example set by our founding Sisters nearly 146 years ago enables us to confront change head on. Leading transformation has been and continues to be part of who we are.
Many hospitals and health care systems, especially in rural areas, are struggling to care for expectant mothers right now. This is due to several factors, including physician shortages, staffing challenges, regulatory requirements and financial hardships.
“Within the OSF HealthCare system, we are blessed to have excellent providers and clinical teams who care deeply for the patients and families who depend on us – including those who are expanding their families,” said Liz Davidson, RN, interim president at OSF HealthCare Saint James-John W. Albrecht Medical Center.
OSF HealthCare is evaluating where to provide birthing, labor and delivery units, as well as general obstetrics and gynecological services such as prenatal visits or well-woman visits.
The number of babies born at OSF Saint James has declined in recent years, which aligns with the aging population of Livingston County. Currently, Pontiac is birthing 10-15 babies per month on average, which is a sharp decline from the 500+ babies born annually at OSF Saint James in years past.
OSF Saint James will shift its services to focus on the future growth of services outside of the delivery of babies, and will streamline its labor and delivery services to other hospitals within OSF HealthCare to ensure the long-term viability of all of our hospitals.
OSF Saint James will continue its commitment to women’s health through a variety of services including, but not limited to, gynecological surgical procedures, lactation counseling, natural family planning via the Creighton Model Fertility Care System, and overall women’s health, such as 3D mammography, bone density, and wellness screenings.
In addition, OSF HealthCare will offer a hybrid model of in-person visits and digital tools for women who prefer to take advantage of some virtual offerings – whether to help busy patients with scheduling conflicts or transportation concerns. For example, we could offer a virtual visit for every other visit throughout a healthy pregnancy.
This care model is used in other OSF HealthCare markets similar to Pontiac and works well, to provide the right combination of digital tools with in-person, compassionate care.
“We want to be where our patients need us, and OSF HealthCare is committed to offering digital services to supplement our in-person care,” Davidson said. “We can offer virtual visits for most healthy pregnancies throughout prenatal care, or our remote patient monitoring program for prenatal and postpartum care is available to complement your visits to a doctor’s office, with on-demand learning based on where a woman is in her pregnancy.”
In addition, OSF lactation experts offer virtual lactation assistance to any woman, regardless of geographic location.
Patients with questions about their ongoing care, OSF Medical Group teams are available: 815-842-3567.
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OSF HealthCare is an integrated health system owned and operated by The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, headquartered in Peoria, Illinois. OSF HealthCare employs nearly 23,000 Mission Partners in 157 locations, including 15 hospitals – 10 acute care, five critical access – with 2,084 licensed acute care beds, 45 urgent care locations and two colleges of nursing throughout Illinois and Michigan. The OSF HealthCare physician network employs more than 1,900 primary care, specialty and advanced practice providers. OSF HealthCare, through OSF Home Care Services, operates an extensive network of home health and hospice services. It also owns Pointcore, Inc., composed of health care-related businesses; OSF HealthCare Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the organization; and OSF Ventures, which provides investment capital for promising health care innovation startups. The Ministry OSF HealthCare Services office in Peoria provides corporate management services, as well as direction, consultation and assistance to the administration of the health care facilities. More at osfhealthcare.org.
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