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UnityPoint Health — Marshalltown to close OB unit

32 jobs impacted

The obstetrics unit and Women’s Health Clinic will close at the end of September because of a decrease in births, UnityPoint Health — Marshalltown officials announced Monday.

“There simply aren’t enough women choosing to deliver locally,” said Jennifer Friedly, President of UnityPoint Health — Marshalltown.

Friedly said 32 jobs are impacted by the decision but efforts are being made to place those employees within the organization.

Over the past six years there has been a 45 percent decrease in the number of births at the OB unit, officials said, and in March the hospital recorded the lowest number of deliveries, 18, in its history.

“It’s clear OB/GYN patients are already selecting Ames and Des Moines for their care,” a news release from UnityPoint Health said.

Emergency room doctors are trained to care for women and infants in emergency situations, including labor and delivery, officials said.

The announcement marks another closure of a longtime health care service provided in Marshalltown. In June 2018 UnityPoint Health announced the closure of its Marshalltown cath lab and in November 2018 it announced its Intensive Care Unit would close.

UnityPoint Health — Marshalltown purchased Central Iowa Healthcare in 2017 following bankruptcy proceedings. The rapid change of health care has continually been cited as a reason for loss of services at the local hospital.