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Why Alice Hyde Made the Difficult Decision to Close Our Family Maternity Center

Michelle LeBeau, President, Alice Hyde Medical Center & CVPH Michelle LeBeau, President, Alice Hyde Medical Center & CVPH

Earlier today, we announced that Alice Hyde’s Family Maternity Center (FMC) will no longer perform scheduled, inpatient births. Since early October, our FMC has been on diversion, which is a temporary status hospitals declare when they are unable to provide a service in accordance with their internal standards. Today’s announcement goes further, permanently ending scheduled, inpatient births at Alice Hyde. This is a difficult decision for our organization, and we know that it is difficult news for our community. Our team at the Alice Hyde Family Maternity Center has delivered outstanding birthing experiences to generations of women in our community. However, like obstetrics programs across New York State and rural America, our Family Maternity Center has seen a sharp decline in the number of inpatient births since mid-2019. This decline in volume makes it challenging for our team to remain prepared for complex and/or difficult births, as well as complications that can arise during pregnancy.

We are already working closely with patients whose care plans were affected by our FMC’s diversion, and we will continue reaching out to all expectant mothers in our care. Our priorities are to ensure they continue to have access to maternity services of the highest quality, in an environment of compassion and clinical excellence. To do this, Alice Hyde and our colleagues at CVPH, across UVM Health Network and throughout Northern New York are collaborating to create a strong regional program that ensures expectant mothers have access to the pre-, post- and perinatal care they need, as close to home as possible. As part of this effort, we are also working with UVM Health Network’s Regional Transport Center to ensure patients – including those without reliable transportation – have options when traveling to another facility to give birth.

At Alice Hyde we will continue to provide critical Women’s Health services in our community. We will continue providing pre- and post-natal care, gynecological care and surgical services, and important Women’s Health services like screenings, well-visits and routine care. This new approach will allow us to provide the care our patients need now and in the future, while maximizing the talent and skills of our employees. It also opens up opportunities for partnerships within the UVM Health Network and across northern New York, allowing us to continue serving expectant mothers and all women seeking gynecological care and other important health needs.

Responding to the changing needs of our community is nothing new for Alice Hyde – or for any health care organization – and it does not change our commitment to clinical excellence, delivering compassionate care, or to ensuring critical women’s health services are available to our patients and our communities now and for generations to come.

We understand that our patients and community will have many questions about this change, and are working closely with our Family Maternity Center team as well as clinical leaders across UVM Health Network and our region, to ensure a seamless experience for expectant mothers who are currently receiving pre-natal care at Alice Hyde and will ultimately give birth elsewhere. We also continue to have conversations with our patients, to ensure they are informed about and understand the process we are going through, as well as our commitment to delivering the care they need.