Lakes Region General Hospital to close birthing unit, send moms to Concord

  • Christopher Barnes—Christopher Barnes

Associated Press
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Lakes Region General Hospital is planning to close its birthing center as part of a cost-cutting plan that includes 16 layoffs across a larger medical network of clinics and medical practices.

LRGHealthcare’s board said it was merging and consolidating facilities and programs to address unexpected financial challenges.

Delivery of babies at the Laconia hospital is expected to end by May 30. LRGHealthcare said it will continue to provide prenatal, postnatal, women’s health and pediatric care; babies will be delivered at Concord Hospital through a collaboration.

Births at the hospital have declined over the past several years, and the trend is expected to continue. The hospital had 346 deliveries in 2015, 318 in 2016, and 283 in 2017.

Closure of labor and delivery services had been considered for months, hospital officials said.

The not-for-profit organization had an operating loss of more than $1 million in October and November and was expecting further losses.

In addition to the cuts at the Laconia hospital, the larger health care network announced that operating rooms will be closed at Franklin Regional Hospital and 16 jobs will be lost through the elimination of administrative positions and program restructuring.

“We are profoundly aware of the impact our decisions have on the lives of our co-workers and their families, and we will make every effort to support all LRGHealthcare employees through these difficult changes,” said Kevin Donovan, president and CEO of LRGHealthcare. “We are fully committed to working with affected employees to minimize the effects of this change as much as possible.”