ELYRIA, OHIO, July 27, 2020 – Mayor Frank Whitfield issued the following statement today regarding the closure of University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center’s Obstetrics (OB) Department and Family Birth Center:
“This afternoon, University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center President Kristi Sink informed me that the Family Birth Center and OB Department will be closing and that they will be deepening their investment in Cardiovascular Health at the Elyria site. We are excited about this investment in the heart health of our region, not only for its wellness impacts, but for its potential on the economic development of our region.
At the same time, I know that this loss of services will cause a great challenge for families throughout Elyria and Lorain County.
Two of my children were born at UH Elyria Medical Center — as were many of our residents and employees. It means something to us to have been born right here in Elyria, and I am committed to continuing this legacy so that we can continue to celebrate new life through a health system and have access to high-quality care for our children in our city.
These past few challenging months have heightened our country’s awareness of the social and racial inequities in our healthcare system. I’m concerned with the impact this decision may have on Elyria in particular around the hard work that’s been done to decrease infant mortality, specifically around African-American infant mortality rates.
The loss of our Family Birth Center, in my opinion, will drastically impact our communities ability to combat infant mortality, and that earned progress isn’t something we’re willing to revert on. Not now. Not ever.
I’m calling on our community to join me to ensure future children can be born in Elyria through either: 1) working with UH to maintain the service in its current facility or somewhere else in the city of Elyria or 2) finding other healthcare partners who are willing and able to provide this essential service and care for Elyrians in Elyria.”
Have an opinion, expertise, or experience you’d like to share with Mayor Whitfield about the closure?