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Legislators hope to reopen OB unit at St. Margaret’s Health, urges hospital to create plan for mothers

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PERU – Elected officials are set out to reopen the obstetrics unit at St. Margaret’s Health. State Senator Sue Rezin hosted a press conference with other local officials, SMH nurses, and an expectant mother on Monday in Peru to discuss the impact of SMH’s recent announcement to terminate OB/GYN and emergency room physician coverage in Peru. As a short-term goal, Senator Rezin says she and other legislators are pushing St. Margaret’s Health to come up with a plan for their expectant patients.

State Representative Lance Yednock says the road to reopening Peru will be very difficult and take longer than hoped and is researching every statute and program to find a solution.  If SMH decides to reopen the OB and delivery unit in Spring Valley again, Rezin says it could take months to go through the licensure process. He and Rezin are currently speaking with the Illinois Health and Hospital Association in Springfield to try and expedite the process if, in fact, the hospital chooses to go that route. Melissa Balma OB Nurse Manager for SMH, who also spoke about the abrupt manner employees and patients were notified of the closure, says 40 expectant mothers were on the list for deliveries this past month that were not cared for.

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