Mayo moving up transition of labor and delivery to Austin campus

“This decision wasn’t an easy one to make. We recognize that this is a significant change to the timeline, and that it impacts current and future patients who were planning to deliver in Albert Lea."

Posted: Jul 11, 2019 1:02 PM
Updated: Jul 11, 2019 6:09 PM

ALBERT LEA, Minn. - Mayo Clinic will be moving up the transition of labor and delivery to its Austin campus this fall.

The move to the Austin campus the week of Oct. 28 with labor and deliveries to be consolidated on the Austin campus starting Oct. 30.

“This decision wasn’t an easy one to make. We recognize that this is a significant change to the timeline, and that it impacts current and future patients who were planning to deliver in Albert Lea,” says Mark Ciota, M.D., chief executive officer of Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea and Austin. “We’re committed to working with individual patients and families to explore all options for revising their birth plan as needed.”

Mayo Clinic Health System announced last month that urgent staffing issues prompted a reevaluation and potential acceleration of the transition, which was originally planned for 2020.

Lindsay Bires is a mother of two with one more on the way. She was already planning on delivering her baby in Austin so she won't be directly impacted by the change. She feels for other families who are having to make some major changes to their birth plans.

"It's a very scary feeling,” Bires said. “It was even a scary feeling in the hospital."

“Since that announcement, we engaged with patients, community groups, local employers and elected officials to hear their questions and concerns and ask for their ideas to help provide the best possible experience for our patients and families during the transition,” says Sumit Bhagra, M.D., medical director of Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea and Austin.

“We explained that labor and delivery requires a full team of medical professionals to be available around the clock, every day of the year,” Bhagra adds. “This includes a delivering physician, a team of nurses, a doctor for the baby, and a surgical team including anesthesia. Despite our best efforts to recruit and retain staff, along with drawing on staff from other Mayo sites; keeping these large teams available for two birthing units is no longer possible.”

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