PARKERSBURG- Seven months after the creation of the Camden Clark Medical Center, a major consolidation was announced Thursday.
Mike King, CEO of Camden Clark Medical Center, said the consolidation of obstetrics services at the Memorial Campus was in the consolidation plans at the earliest stages.
"This is the second half of the consolidation of women's and children's services," he said. "We will have the entire second floor of the north tower dedicated to women's and children's services."
Photos by Jeffrey Saulton
Announcing the consolidation of obstetrics services at the Memorial Campus of Camden Clark Medical Center, were, from left, Dr. Peter Filozof, Dr. Gail Russell, nurse Robyn Rice, nurse Linda George and Camden Clark Medical Center CEO Mike King.
Dr. Gail Russell said the consolidation is an exciting time for the staff.
"We will have everybody under one roof to provide what we believe will be improved, and hopefully at some point, expanded services," she said. "We think this will be a great contribution to the medical community here in Parkersburg."
Dr. Peter Filozof said the staff will benefit from the increased number of deliveries in the combined department.
Camden Clark Medical Center announced the consolidation of the obstetrics units of both campuses at the Memorial Campus.
Mike King, CEO of Camden Clark Medical Center, said the unit at St. Joseph's Campus will close Oct. 25.
The new obstetrics unit is expected to have between 1,700 and 1,800 deliveries a year.
King said with the move the entire second floor of the Memorial Campus north tower will be devoted to women's and children's services.
"We will now be more of volume hospital, but I don't mean volume in pure numbers, but the more we do the higher our skill levels," Filozof said. "The mothers and children will benefit from the increasing training and skill levels this consolidation is going to bring to the women of the Mid-Ohio Valley."
Filozof said the American College of Ob-Gyn suggests that hospitals delivering below a certain level may not actually have the skills to keep up, he said.
"That may be controversial, but certainly by increasing our volume here this will give everybody the opportunity to practice more in the sense we do practice medicine and can't help but increase our skill levels," he said.
Russell said the consolidation makes sense for all involved.
"From simple logistics of being in one facility and not having to run back and forth and not have the potential of labor in two locations at the same time," she said. "I think having everybody here does increase our strength by virtue of our numbers. If you have a good thing going and you have more of that the sum becomes greater than the parts - we really have two wonderful units with years and years of experience."
King said the obstetrics unit at the former St. Joseph's Hospital had about 300 deliveries a year and Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital had about 1,400 a year.
"The consolidated service will have between 1,700 and 1,800 deliveries a year," King said.
"That will actually increase us to be the third largest delivering facility in the state of West Virginia," Russell said.
King said the consolidation is part of the center's goal of creating a stronger and healthier community.
"We feel this will definitely lead to a healthier and stronger community," he said.
King said services have been consolidated with a goal of strengthening them or to provide cost savings. He said the unit at the St. Joseph's Campus is scheduled to have its last delivery on Oct. 25 and the new combined unit on the Memorial Campus will open Nov. 1.
"It's kind of a natural when you think about it," he said. "You have one program with 300 deliveries and one that had 1,400, and when you put them together you actually pull in all the years of experience and consolidate in one location and our obstetrics doctors can go to one hospital instead of two."
King said the new unit in the North Tower will be more secure.
At this time King said no decision has been made on how the former obstetrics space at the St. Joseph's Campus will be used.
"We're not sure yet," he said. "Later this year we will begin a long-range planning process that will cast the next 10 years for the combined hospitals."
Robyn Rice, an obstetrics nurse at St. Joseph's for 10 years, said she is looking forward to the consolidation.
"It's exciting there's a lot of new things to learn here even though we work with the same doctors and provide the same kind of care to our patients," she said. "In the long run it will be a nice combination of experience and skills and we will be able to provide excellent care in the community under one roof."
Linda George, who has worked in obstetrics at the former Camden-Clark for 28 years, said it will be a learning experience for the staff.
"It's going to be a learning experience and we will be able to provide better education for our patients with the expertise of the nurses from both hospitals," she said.