The Transylvania Times -

Keeping Health Care Local


As the two Ob/Gyns in this county, we would like to thank the people who signed this petition to bring back the TRH Birthing Center. We are always appreciative of community interest in women’s and children’s health – that’s the focus of our professional lives. Anything that increases our community’s interest in how TRH can continue to provide vital services needed by the residents of Transylvania County is incredibly valuable to us.

As your team of care providers, we explored every option to keep the birthing center. In the late 1990s there were about 300 deliveries per year with five physicians delivering and 14 pediatric providers caring for newborns in the hospital. This was a steady decrease over the years to around 135 deliveries per year at the time of closure with two OB’s and one Pediatrician providing most of the care.

The delivery numbers initially decreased when the local large factories closed and have been on a steady decline since that time with less than half of Transylvania County mothers choosing to deliver at TRH in 2013. The actively demonstrated choice by more than 50 percent of mothers to leave our community for their deliveries was the critical deciding factor in our reduced volumes and therefore our decision to close the program.

Ironically, we even heard from some women who were angry about the birthing center closing but who had actually delivered their babies at home or at other hospitals!

In the end (for all the reasons we discussed at great length in 2015) the birthing center simply could not be safely maintained. Beyond our community, the same challenge is being experienced nationwide with hospitals that deliver less than 200-300 babies per year.

We continue to provide holistic prenatal care in our office in Brevard where we have maintained a rising number of pregnant patients since the closure of the birthing center.

We are part of the delivery team at Mission Hospital, an institution with a very significant delivery volume and tremendous expertise for any complication that potentially might occur, on a rotating basis. When we are not there, one of our colleagues, whom we trust, cares for our patients.

It is our sincere hope that the population of childbearing citizens will increase in Transylvania County and a higher percentage of those women would choose to stay local to receive their care. That is by far the most important factor with respect to any potential for a birthing center to be re-established in Transylvania County.

As we all know so well, any local business or enterprise depends on the loyalty of the local community to keep its doors open. That goes for dentists, restaurants, local farmers and especially hospitals.

We continue to have an award-winning hospital, yet I hear of many people going elsewhere for care. Transylvania Regional Hospital is an extraordinary community asset and our partnership with Mission Health both ensures its survival and makes it even more capable. That’s one of many reasons Mission Health has been named a Top 15 Health System in the U.S. for the four of the past five years.

Together we can provide a system of care for our community that is state-of-the-art and that enables safe and effective care to be provided close to home. To ensure that care and other services remain close to home, vote with your feet: please support your local hospitals, doctors, dentists, restaurants, downtown stores, entertainment options and anything else that you want to remain in our spectacular town.

(Doctors Ramsey and Barrow are the two local obsterricians/gynecologists)


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