CMH CEO: Here to stay — Keeping quality obstetric and gynecological care close to home

By Lance Beus - CEO, Clinton Memorial Hospital

I want to assure our community that there are no shuttered doors in labor and delivery at CMH, and we are excited for what’s to come as we continue expanding and improving this important service line.

At Clinton Memorial Hospital, we are incredibly proud that more than 500 families choose us each year as the place where they want to welcome a new baby. Our obstetrics (OB) unit has been a fixture in the community since CMH opened in 1951, and over the last 60+ years, we’ve served thousands of families with a broad spectrum of high quality obstetric and gynecological care.

And we want you to know that we are here to stay.

Importantly, we are as committed to providing quality obstetric care today as we were more than 60 years ago when we delivered our very first baby.

We know that recent physician departures and transitions within the community’s long-standing OB/GYN clinic have raised questions about the future from our patients and community members, but these changes are not indicative of larger plans to close our mother-baby care unit at CMH. It continues to be a vital part of the core services we provide to our community.

We are fortunate to have experienced medical staff members, and our patients still have options when it comes to local prenatal care.

While Dr. Rajiv Patel, OB/GYN, remains an active staff member and our Chief of Staff, he’s chosen to focus on gynecological surgery and services at present.

For prenatal and obstetric care, Dr. John Merling and Dr. Tina Gabbard, both family medicine physicians with Wilmington Medical Associates, are active staff members of CMH and serve many families.

We’re also excited to share that our hospital-employed physician practice group, Wilmington Physicians Group, plans to open a new OB/GYN practice this fall. We have contracted experienced OB/GYN physicians who are currently seeing prenatal patients at Pinnacle Primary Care before they transition to the new clinic on a full-time basis.

We are excited to welcome Dr. Paul Prior as part of this new clinic; Dr. Prior is an experienced OB/GYN who previously practiced in Mount Vernon, Ohio at Knox Community Hospital.

We are committed to providing 24/7 obstetric and gynecological care for patients at CMH and will continue to do so in the months to come as we recruit permanent physicians to join our hospital team.

At CMH, our entire obstetric care team is top-notch. Every single one of our nurses has already completed or is actively working toward fetal monitoring certification through the National Certification Commission (NCC).

The NCC is a not-for-profit organization that provides certification to nurses in the obstetric, gynecologic and neonatal specialties. NCC certification across an entire unit is an incredible goal that exemplifies our commitment to implementing best practices and providing the highest quality care.

We also have two International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) who are helping in leading our efforts to become designated as a Baby-Friendly facility, as defined by the Ohio Hospital Association and the Ohio Department of Health as part of the Ohio First Steps for Healthy Babies initiative.

This voluntary breastfeeding designation program recognizes maternity centers in Ohio for taking steps to promote, protect and support breastfeeding in their organization.

CMH’s commitment to delivering exceptional care and service is felt by our patients as well. That’s why for the past two consecutive years, our mother-baby care team has exceeded the 90th percentile in the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) patient satisfaction scores.

That means that over the course of 1000+ deliveries, our clinical staff has performed better than 90 percent of hospitals nationwide when it comes to providing quality care with compassion. The best part is that this level of care is available right here in Wilmington – close to home.

And of course, if you’re ever here for a visit, you may still be lucky enough to hear the familiar lullaby play throughout the hospital announcing a baby has just been born – it’s a favorite sound of mine, and, I know, brings joy to our entire community.

It is a great privilege to serve the healthcare needs of you and your family. Thank you for entrusting your care to CMH.

By Lance Beus

CEO, Clinton Memorial Hospital