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Tyrone Hospital closes obstetrics unit

Members of the Tyrone Hospital family and community are reflecting on their experience with the hospital’s obstetrics unit which ceased operation on August 15.
Linda Wertz, RN, Director of Inpatient Services at Tyrone Hospital who is also former head nurse of obstetrics said the hospital provided obstetrics services for nearly 50 years and saw the birth of an estimated 10,000 babies over the years.
“When Tyrone Hospital first opened, babies were delivered by the general practitioners on staff, later births were handled strictly by obstetricians,” she said.
Wertz said many people in the community remember the late Dr. Daniel Friday.
“The greatest volume of activity in obstetrics was, by far, during the time when Dr. Friday’s practice was in full swing.”
A hallmark of the unit was its seasoned nursing staff, including Vicky Shaw, RN, Tina Murray, RN, Cindy Taylor, LPN, Gail Henry, LPN, Karen Kizina, RN, Brandy Bergum, RN, Rachael Conard, RN, Julie Paige, RN, and Beth DeArmitt, RN.
Marcie and Todd Lewis of Tyrone were among the last parents to use the hospital’s obstetrics unit. Their daughter Rebecca Kathryn Lewis was born at Tyrone Hospital in the wee hours of the morning on August 15.
\”Todd and I have been very pleased with all of our experiences at Tyrone Hospital,” said Mrs. Lewis. “ We had all 8 of our children born here and were always treated very well by the entire staff. We feel blessed to have had the OB service with its wonderful staff through the years. Tyrone Hospital is certainly an asset to our community.\”
As a group, the nursing staff represented more than 150 years of obstetrics nursing experience.
“The nursing staff was recognized for their skill, knowledge, dedication, hard work, and the personalized level of care they have provided to patients,” said Wertz. “One of the obstetrics nurses, Vicky Shaw was actually born at Tyrone Hospital. Patients who used Tyrone Hospital for multiple births found comfort in being cared for by nurses that were familiar to them.
“Some of the nurses provided care to two or three generations within a family. “
Walter S. Van Dyke, CEO at Tyrone Hospital said the closure of the unit was a painful decision.
“We are very proud of the service that we delivered for nearly 50 years. Unfortunately, small hospital’s like Tyrone can no longer afford to provide obstetrics.”
Van Dyke said the staff that worked on the obstetrics unit have been offered other positions within the hospital.