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OMAK – Mid-Valley Hospital is adding an obstetrics manager to its employee list.

The full-time position was approved by hospital commissioners during their July 14 meeting.

As of April 1, Mid-Valley became the only hospital in Okanogan County to offer obstetrics services. Three Rivers Hospital, Brewster, shut down its OB unit April 1 and North Valley stopped doing baby deliveries earlier in the year.

Mid-Valley has since added seven new obstetrics providers, including three nurse midwives. Three more providers will start in late summer at Family Health Center and Confluence Health, bringing the total to 20 providers.

“We are expecting that the number of babies being delivered and ante-partum testing being done at Mid-Valley Hospital to increase,” said an assessment of need presented to the board. “The manager would have time to help mentor and orient the new providers and nurses.”

Timely follow-up on concerns or problems would be included.

The current OB manager also manages the acute care department.

“The position spreads the manager too thin and (the person) is not able to give the time and attention needed to develop the OB department,” said the assessment.

New and revised policies and procedures also are needed, and there’s an increased demand for more reporting of statistics to state and federal agencies each year, the board was told.

“Mid-Valley is working toward becoming a center of excellence for breast feeding and providing exceptional specialized care to the OB patients, which requires time and communication with agencies, staff and providers,” said the assessment.

And, under a state law that goes into effect next July, the hospital has to provide and document that it is able to provide uninterrupted breaks and lunches to all staff.

“Having a manager in the department will assure this happens,” said the assessment.

The manager also would be able to fill in as an OB nurse if there are multiple patients or an obstetrical emergency, and the position would help increase patient safety, the board was told. The person also would help with physical plant development, and help market and promote the OB department.

Physicians also would benefit from the position, said the assessment.

The position is expected to cost $75,000-$95,000 for salary, plus benefits. Total cost would be $94,000-$119,000.

In other business:

-CEO Alan Fisher reported on the partnership with Three Rivers Hospital to provide orthopedic services, gave a COVID-19 impact funding update, and said 151 surgeries were completed at the hospital during June.

-Heard from Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jennifer Thill, who reviewed an emergency department visits and said a medical staff meeting is scheduled.

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