Over the past week several residents who have been concerned with the obstetrics department at Mesa View Regional Hospital noticed an unfamiliar change in how the hospital is handling changes since the recent departure of their only licensed Pediatrician, Dr. Merrill Horne.

Horne left the hospital a few months ago, according to staff representatives and until recently, children were left with little choice for pediatric care.

According to Rob Fuller, the Director of Business Development at MVRH, “Our hospital has processes in place to cover on-call staffing for the specialty services that we provide.”

He cited that these processes, known as diversions, and will take place when there are no available beds or if certain staff is unavailable for services. Fuller also stated that it is a common practice among hospitals, especially those in rural areas where staff accessibility is limited.

“Though our inpatient obstetric services are temporarily on diversion a few times each year, patients who are experiencing a medical emergency – obstetrics-related or otherwise – should not hesitate to come to Mesa View Regional Hospital’s emergency room. The hospital has an experienced emergency department team trained to provide emergency medical care and, if needed, make arrangements for a transfer to an appropriate level of care. Physicians are given schedules a month in advance and this is generally not an issue.  The primary focus of Mesa View is patient safety and quality care,” he said.

Fuller also noted in his statement to the MLN Tuesday that the hospital is in constant contact with local EMS services so that patients get the best care possible.

At the moment, with the current diversion, two physicians are finalizing the proper licensing which will prevent this diversion for the obstetrics department from becoming a common occurrence.