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Updates regarding the Diversion and Development of OB Services

June-07-2022

June 24th, 2022

Today, team members across Plumas District Hospital's departments formed a Task Force to explore the development of an Alternative Birthing Center. The proposed birthing center model would be freestanding, not a part of the main hospital campus. Care is provided in the midwifery and wellness model; during which a midwife or physician is in constant attendance during active labor. The location of the birthing center will be within a 10 minute driving distance of the main hospital. The model will use the national standards found in the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC).

Updates regarding the new program’s development will be shared periodically throughout the diversion.

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June 9th, 2022

Please see the update below following JoDee Read’s letter to the community on June 7th, announcing the diversion of Plumas District Hospital’s OB services until September 1, 2022.
Today, at Noon, Plumas District Hospital held a public board meeting to provide a space for hospital staff and community members to share their comments regarding OB services. During the meeting members of our staff and OB providers expressed their sadness, support, and sympathy to all patients affected by the diversion.

Following continued discussion by our Hospital’s Staff, Board of Directors and Senior Management, Plumas District Hospital will use this time of diversion to work to develop a sustainable delivery program for mothers, babies, and families in our community.
Until a new program is developed, Plumas District Hospital will continue to provide perinatal visits, support, and coordinate labor and delivery care with Tahoe Forest Health System, Enloe Medical Center, Banner Health, Renown Health or anywhere else that the patient requests, to assure smooth handoffs for our patients.

Plumas District Hospital’s obstetric providers, management, and board of directors are grateful to our neighboring hospitals for their provision of care to our area’s delivering mothers and their babies during this time.
Updates regarding the new program’s development will be shared periodically throughout the diversion.

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June 7th, 2022

Letter from our CEO regrading OB services: 

After a long and difficult decision, Plumas District Hospital will be on OB diversion and unable to deliver babies at our facility at least through September 1, 2022. Rural Health facilities, which include Critical Access Hospitals and Rural Health Clinics across America, are experiencing crises in regards to adequately staffing hospitals and clinics due to a high volume of nursing shortages.

It is not lost on us that we are the last Rural Health Facility to be able to offer OB services in California, and it is our passion and goal to be able to continue these important services for our community in some capacity. In order to provide safe and sustainable care for our patients and their families, we are forced to explore alternative options to care for expecting mothers and their babies.

Currently, Plumas District Hospital is working on collaborative agreements with other hospitals in the region to be able to provide a hybrid or team approach for pregnancy and delivery needs. It is our intention to continue to provide perinatal care for expecting mothers up to 36 weeks of pregnancy, with the objective of a smooth transfer of care for delivery. We are looking into how best to continue supporting the transition, recognizing that some people have financial and transportation constraints. It is also important to be able to support families and new baby needs by providing follow up care in the Rural Health Clinic after baby arrives. All of our OB providers (Physicians and Midwife) are continuing to see OB patients in the Rural Health Clinic as well as newborns and pediatric patients.

Additionally Plumas District Hospital is exploring other options to be able to provide birthing services. Keeping families in their hometown is our goal. We have dedicated staff working on care coordination and the future of community OB services.

Patients who have labor questions should follow up with their OB provider during business hours and use the emergency room for emergent questions after hours. Plumas District Hospital Emergency Room will support the emergent transfer of laboring patients to another facility and provide emergency OB care for those too far in labor to be transferred.

Delivering this news and facing the tough truth of the state of OB services in our community brings us great sadness. However, we will continue to be empathetic and want to be as helpful as possible in meeting our patients perinatal care needs. Thank you for your understanding and patience as we continue to work through what the future of OB will look like at Plumas District Hospital.

I am confident many of you read about this on Plumas News yesterday, and I apologize in advance for this communication not coming out prior to that. Thursday’s Board of Directors meeting will start at 12pm and is open to the public. I encourage anyone interested in making public comment regarding OB to attend. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out. I am available by email and phone and appreciate hearing from you. This is an emotional topic, and one near and dear to so many of us.

As I have said before, I am hopeful and committed to trying everything. I still believe we can write a story different from so many other critical access hospitals across America and find a way to keep OB services in our community.

Sincerely,

JoDee Read, CEO

Plumas District Hospital

jread@pdh.org

530.283.7127

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