St. Mary's Regional Medical Center of Lewiston. Credit: Courtesy of St. Mary's Regional Medical Center

St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center will stop offering maternity and women’s health services at the end of July.

The decision to discontinue its Maternity and Women’s Health services comes amid a decline in birth rates in Androscoggin County, the Sun Journal reported.

However, most of the women’s health care staff at St. Mary’s will be relocated to Central Maine Medical Center, which is expanding its maternity, neonatal and women’s health care services. Patients with St. Mary’s are encouraged to seek out services with CMMC.

Three of St. Mary’s obstetrician-gynecologists, along with all three of St. Mary’s midwives, will transfer to work at CMMC. Nurses who work at St. Mary’s will be given the opportunity to transfer to other health care specialities offered at the hospital, and those that want to continue to work in women’s health care will be offered the opportunity to transfer to CMMC.

Between St. Mary’s and CMMC, the number of births decreased from 1,273 in 2017 to 1,044  in 2021, according to the Sun Journal. Across the state, birth rates have steadily declined over the past decade.

The decision to phase out maternity and women’s health care services was not driven by financial stress, hospital officials told the Sun Journal. Rather, discussions about how to provide the best health care services concluded it would be best to consolidate care at CMMC, which has stronger resources to offer the Lewiston community.

Patients will be contacted over the next few months to coordinate transferring care and records, the Lewiston newspaper reported.

St. Mary’s does not currently have a plan to fill the space left once maternity and women’s services are discontinued, but hospital officials plan to place other services to meet community needs in the Corinne Croteau Lepage Women’s Health Pavilion.

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Leela Stockley

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.