CENTRALIA — SSM Health has announced it will be consolidating the labor and delivery service from SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital in Centralia to SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt. Vernon, by the end of 2021.

Damon Harbison, President, SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital says the decision was not reached lightly but after monitoring the obstetrics service line for several years and Centralia has seen a consistent decline in the number of births each year.

The hospital anticipates less than 250 total births in 2021.
Combining the two programs will increase volumes allowing staff to maintain clinical competencies and increase program efficiencies.

While 18 employees at St. Mary’s Hospital will be affected, no jobs will be lost. St. Mary’s Hospital administration met with those employees and have offered them the opportunity to transfer to other positions within the SSM Health system.

Harbison says that the change will ultimately improve their operations and allow them to focus their resources on the services that their patients are using the most in the communities they serve while keeping pace with the changes in the healthcare industry.

To ensure a smooth transition and continuity of care, SSM Health Illinois is partnering with Heartland Women’s Healthcare to assist with transitioning their patient’s labor and delivery care to SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital – Mt. Vernon or a hospital of their choice.