Marshfield Clinic Health System has announced Marshfield Medical Center in Eau Claire will more than double its labor and delivery beds.
According to a press release, Marshfield Medical Center will expand from eight beds in its obstetrics unit to 20 beds. The increase in capacity means they will be able to assist in an additional 550 births each year. The move comes as Chippewa Valley medical providers attempt to adjust to the announced closures of all HSHS and Prevea facilities in the region, including HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital.
In the press release, Marshfield Medical Center – Eau Claire said “As other hospitals and health systems are making difficult decisions, we have determined the steps we can take to increase delivery and labor beds for expectant mothers and their families.”
The organization will also explore other avenues for increasing its services for Chippewa Valley residents. Alongside other medical providers in the area, Marshfield Medical Center is preparing for an increase in patient volume, particularly in emergency and urgent care departments. The organization is actively recruiting additional employees, including some from the soon to close hospitals and clinics.
In addition to increasing the number of labor and delivery beds available, state lawmakers have proposed legislation to reallocate $15 million to emergency departments in Chippewa and Eau Claire counties. The funding would act as a short term solution to the expected increase in the number of patients seen in places like the Marshfield Medical Center. It would give state lawmakers a chance to come up with a more permanent solution to the healthcare access crisis the closing of HSHS and Prevea facilities will create.