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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Demonstrators Urge Retention of Labor & Delivery in Franklin
Board Votes to Close Labor & Delivery on July 14, 2017


Yesterday afternoon, several members of the community gathered on the sidewalks in front of Angel Medical Center at 5 o'clock to demonstrate their opposition to Mission Health's decision to close the Labor & Delivery Department at Angel Medical Center, to urge the Board of Directors to vote against the closure, and to show support for the staff of the Labor & Delivery Department. Macon Media webcast live video from the demonstration on Facebook.
The live version and the edited version are posted below, along with a few photos taken at the demonstration.

Facebook Live Version

Edited Version

(media outlets with personnel covering the demonstration)

Macon Media (me)
Macon County News & Shopping Guide
The Franklin Press (2 reporters and 1 photographer)
The Asheville Citizen-Times

The Board of Directors of Angel Medical Center met for three hours last night. During the meeting, they voted to close Labor & Delivery at the facility. Below is the statement they released to the media:

Statement by the Board of Directors of ANgel Medical Center

FRANKLIN, NC (May 8, 2017) – As members of the community, the Board Members at Angel Medical Center did not want to ever face the very difficult decision to stop providing labor and delivery services at our hospital. Many of us used those services in our family and we realize the value they provide to our community. Like you, our neighbors, family, and friends work in that department and we are proud that year after year, the women’s department is recognized for the quality they provide.

But the decision was not about whether to offer labor and delivery services or not. We were faced with a choice of making sure that the hospital can break even now and in the future so that we know there will be a hospital in Franklin. The hospital lost large amounts of money prior to our affiliation with Mission and will lose money again this year without a major change and reduction in our costs. Even more important, we are forecasted to lose money every year moving forward absent changes in our operations. Unfortunately, labor and delivery services lose more than $1 million every year and those losses are expected to climb. The board has a community and a fiduciary responsibility to make sure that Angel Medical Center does not become one of the hundreds of rural hospitals that have tragically closed because they simply could not afford to stay open.

Mission has supported and continues to support Angel Medical Center, exemplified by the announced plans to commit $46 million to build a new hospital that will help us to provide residents of Macon County with the highest quality healthcare and do it more efficiently so we can return to break even. Over the last 5 years, Mission has invested more than $11 million into Angel to ensure the hospital remains financially viable. Without the affiliation, AMC likely would have closed our doors four years ago.

While we understand the community’s concerns, we are very hopeful for our future and will continue to work with the community and Mission Health to look for the greatest opportunities to provide high quality, compassionate and sustainable care in Macon County. We will work with Mission to develop a new hospital design that could incorporate a labor and delivery wing in the future, provided that financing is available and that the health care funding landscape changes so that labor and delivery services can break even. For now, we will continue to focus our efforts on making sure that Franklin has the highest quality hospital available for our community now and in the future.

Photos of Demonstration

Click on any photo to embiggen (aka enlarge) for better viewing.


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Published at 3:00 pm on May 9, 2017

Be kind to one another.