I'Falls Babies Born Closer to Home After Public Outcry
Posted at: 09/21/2012 5:02 PM
| Updated at: 09/21/2012 10:52 PM
By: Laurie Stribling
Officials with the Rainy Lake Medical Center in International Falls announced they will continue to deliver babies at their facility, despite an announcement earlier in September.
RLMC lost two physicians recently, and announced earlier this month they would temporarily be unable to deliver babies after October 1. The decision would have forced expectant mothers to travel up to 100 miles to Virginia when they went into labor. The announcement did not sit well with many living in the area.
“Everyone was really worried about it,” International Falls resident Bre Black said. “Driving to Virginia would just be too long and some people don't feel comfortable going to Canada....it's just way easier to have it in town where you live.”
After a backlash from the community, hospital officials announced September 21 plans to keep delivering babies at RLMC. Marketing Coordinator Angela Liedke said a temporary doctor will be hired to fill the holes in the schedule and continue the important service in town.
“I think this is fantastic news,” Liedke said. “We birth 80 babies here, a year, and to have that continue is fantastic. Keep those babies born here and have them be raised in the falls is wonderful. I think the community is going to be really excited that we get to keep this service.”
After the news traveled around town, people seemed thankful this service will continue.
“I was really excited,” Black said. “I was really happy to hear that. I know a lot of people who are pregnant now, and that was one of their concerns. It's good to have it here.”
Liedke said plans are in the beginning stages and the service should continue consistently through the previous October deadline.
An informational meeting was also held September 17 to address a possible integration between RLMC and Essentia Health. The two are already affiliated, but some people in the community believe an integration would draw more doctors to the area preventing this problem in the future.