Birthing services are no longer available in Barron as of last week, according to an announcement from Mayo Clinic Health System.
The health care provider is transitioning labor and delivery services in both Barron and Menomonie to its Eau Claire location.
The announcement comes less than two years after Mayo Clinic opened a new $990,000 family birthing center in Barron.
Labor and delivery services at Mayo Clinic Health System — Northland in Barron transitioned Friday, Aug. 26, when Mayo Clinic Health System began a planned modernization to operating rooms at that location.
Labor and delivery services will continue in Menomonie through the end of 2022. The transition of labor and delivery services from Mayo Clinic — Red Cedar in Menomonie to Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire will take effect Jan. 1, 2023.
“We are incredibly grateful for the contributions of our labor and delivery staff and the excellent care they have provided in Barron and Menomonie for many years,” said Richard Helmers, M.D., regional vice president of Mayo Clinic Health System in Northwest Wisconsin. “Our teams in Barron and Menomonie will continue to provide exceptional, high-quality prenatal and postnatal care, along with gynecological services to best serve the health care needs of our patients. Mayo Clinic Health System is not leaving Barron nor Menomonie. We have thriving clinical and surgical practices at both locations. Hospital-based labor and delivery are the only services transitioning.”
After October, Barron will not have any OB-GYN physicians, and there will be one OB-GYN physician in Menomonie.
But prenatal care (12-15 office visits during pregnancy) and postpartum care (office visits after delivery), OB-Nest (a virtual prenatal program) and gynecological services will continue to be provided in Menomonie and Barron.
Mayo Clinic indicated that staffing was a factor in the decision to consolidate birthing services.
In a press release, the health care provider stated, “Mayo Clinic Health System has been aggressively recruiting for several open OB-GYN positions over the past two years. These relentless efforts have been unsuccessful in filling these critical physician openings, reflecting a worsening OB-GYN physician shortage across the country.”
Mayo Clinic stated that it has already been standard practice for all high-risk pregnancies to deliver at the Eau Claire facility.
“It is an honor to care for the residents of Northwest Wisconsin, and we appreciate the trust they have placed in us,” says Jason Craig, regional chair of administration for Mayo Clinic Health System in Northwest Wisconsin. “We understand the uncertainty this may cause. Mayo Clinic Health System remains fully committed to providing the very best care. Our prenatal care providers will work directly with patients to coordinate labor and delivery care at our Family Birth Center in Eau Claire. Our top priorities are to provide a seamless transition for patients ensuring a positive birth experience and to maintain employment for all staff.”
Construction on the $990,000 birth center at Mayo Clinic Health Systems — Northland n Barron began in July 2019 and was completed in January of 2020. The center covers 5,277 square feet and included four new rooms for moms and their families with numerous amenities.
Patients are being notified that they have the option to make plans for delivering their baby at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, or Mayo Clinic Health System — Red Cedar in Menomonie through the end of 2022 and at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire beyond Jan. 1, 2023. Patients who have routine questions regarding pregnancy can call the number for the clinic where they are receiving care. Patients who are experiencing labor can call the Mayo Clinic Health System Family Birth Center in Eau Claire at 715-838-3135.