UVMC addresses maternity closure with MC Commissioners


By Eamon Baird

[email protected]

TROY — Kevin Harlan, president of Premier Health’s Upper Valley Medical Center (UVMC), addressed the Miami County Commissioners during their meeting on Thursday, Feb.1, about the approaching closure of the hospital’s maternity ward.

Harlan said the ward will close sometime this month. He stated that in the past 18 months, UVMC started losing providers, adding that many OBGYNs now work in larger cities such as Dayton.

Last year, UVMC only delivered approximately 325 babies, roughly half the amount they delivered just two years ago.

“What we’ve seen over the last few years is about 60% of all expectant moms in Miami County deliver now in Montgomery County, and the majority of those moms are delivering at Miami Valley Hospital,” Harlan said.

The commissioners questioned why Miami County is falling behind in maternity services compared to surrounding counties.

“Why is Shelby County a county third of the size, and why is Darke County able to maintain their full-service hospital capabilities?” Commissioner Wade Westfall asked.

“It hits home with families when maternity services are not available and when we have two major health care providers in our county and that not being able to take place is disheartening,” Commissioner Ted Mercer said.

“I’m hoping that this isn’t permanent. I’m hoping that, you know, as strong as our county is maybe decisions can be reversed. And we all deal with labor issues, here to county, I’m sure labor issues with hospitals, but we’re hoping that we can correct some of those, and time will help heal, and possibly bring back some of these programs,” Mercer said.

Harlan responded that UVMC is willing to consider reopening the maternity ward if circumstances change.

“We have no immediate plans for that maternity unit,” Harlan said. “It’s going to be sitting there, just really the way it is right now. So, you know, a few years down the road, three, four, or five years, if something changes materially, providers come our way. We have put some criteria together, some thresholds, which at least be triggers for us to consider opening maternity services again,” Harlan said.

The commissioners also intended to meet with a representative from Kettering Hospital but were forced to reschedule that meeting for later in the month. In January, Kettering announced the closure of its emergency department, effective on Feb. 1.

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