Wake Forest Baptist Health leaders and the Wake Forest Baptist Health – Lexington Medical Center board of directors yesterday approved a plan that will affect labor and delivery services at Lexington Medical Center. By the end of June, these services will no longer be available at the hospital.
The plan also calls for enhanced women’s health services in the community to better meet the needs of women of all ages.
Obstetricians at Wake Forest Baptist’s Women’s Services clinic in Lexington will work closely with their patients to ensure a smooth transition and discuss other childbirth options, which include The Birth Center at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. As always, mothers decide where they will have their babies.
An expectant mother who arrives at the hospital’s emergency department will be cared for by emergency physicians and nursing staff who will stabilize and treat her – and will deliver the baby if necessary – then transfer the patient for further care when needed.
“We hope those in the Lexington community understand that this was a difficult but necessary decision that will help us better meet the needs of people here in Davidson County,” said Julie Ann Freischlag, MD, CEO of Wake Forest Baptist Health and dean of Wake Forest School of Medicine. “Deliveries at Lexington Medical Center have steadily declined over the past 10 years – dropping to less than one birth per day. Meanwhile, the costs of providing this care have continued to rise. It became clear to us that we needed to refocus our efforts on expanding women’s health services that are most needed in the Lexington community.”
Wake Forest Baptist providers will continue to provide comprehensive prenatal care as well as gynecologic services to women at Wake Forest Baptist’s Women’s Services clinic in Lexington.
“Continuing to provide high quality and convenient care to those in the Davidson County area is a top priority for all of us,” said Bill James, president of Lexington Medical Center. “We recently opened our $31.5 million expanded surgical facility, and we now have the opportunity to increase the range of women’s health services offered at Lexington Medical Center, so even more women of all ages can receive the care they need, while remaining close to home.”
Over the past several years, Wake Forest Baptist has added providers and increased nursing staff at Lexington Medical Center, expanded breast cancer diagnostic and treatment capabilities, added new technology to support physical and occupational therapy and utilized technology in the intensive care unit that enables more acutely ill patients to be cared for in their own community.
Around two dozen positions – most of them in nursing – will be impacted by the transition of delivery services. Wake Forest Baptist is actively working with these highly experienced and valued team members to place them in open positions within the health system.
No changes are planned to the labor and delivery services at any of Wake Forest Baptist’s other hospitals.