Coalition Supports RI DOH’s Call for Public Input on Closing of Memorial Hospital Birthing Center
Thursday, March 10, 2016
“One of the DOH’s stated goals is to identify strategies to address barriers to evidence- based care for the state’s most vulnerable populations and to ensure access to quality maternal and child health services. Closing the obstetrical unit at MHRI – which serves mostly communities of color with multi-layered health disparities and significant barriers to access – is in direct opposition to the RI Department of Health (DOH) Strategic Plan and health equity framework,” said Alana Bibeau, Ph.D., a URI sociologist who has been working with the Coalition.
The unit at Memorial Hospital has served Pawtucket and Central Falls communities for generations. Bot communities have some of the highest rates of childhood poverty, racial and ethnic health disparities and teen pregnancy rates in the state.
“The model of care at MHRI is qualitatively different than the care provided in other hospitals. Community-based care is an essential component of the Rhode Island Maternity care system, along with larger tertiary care hospitals and access to safe homebirth. It costs less and it results in better outcomes for mothers and babies. Closing the unit at Memorial would create, rather than eliminate, additional barriers to access for the women who are most critically in need of the family-centered care the Birthing Center provides,” said Kaeli Sutton, spokesperson for the Coalition.
The Coalition has also expressed its disappointment in the Care New England leadership for its inability to establish continuity of care for its patients, many of which have been given multiple dates for closure and little knowledge of who will attend their deliveries if the unit closes.
The Coalition to Save Memorial Birthing Center
The Coalition to Save Memorial Birthing Center is a community partnership calling for transparency in the hospital regulatory process, continuity of care for all patients, and the elimination of barriers to access for families in Pawtucket and Central Falls.
Related Slideshow: Check Out The Grades: Rhode Island Hospitals Report Card
A recent survey released by The Leapfrog Group assigns a Hospital Safety Score, using the report card system of A to F to each of the hospitals in Rhode Island. These grades are based on expert analysis of injuries, infections and errors that cause harm or death during a hospital stay.
Let's see how each of Rhode Island's hospitals were graded from highest to lowest:
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