Minnesota's oldest hospital won't deliver babies anymore

Its maternity services are ending in the fall.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

St. Joseph's Hospital in downtown St. Paul was founded back in 1853, and the medical center says it's "proud to hold the distinction as Minnesota's first hospital."

But early this fall, it will no longer do planned delivery of babies.

HealthEast St. Joseph's maternity services are ending effective Sept. 10, the hospital said in a news release.

They'll be admitting expectant mothers through Sept. 7, then the entire unit will shut down three days later.

(Of note: Federal law requires any hospital with an emergency room to treat a woman in labor and deliver the baby – ProPublica has more about that.)

Why it's closing

The hospital says more women are having their children at other facilities, including its HealthEast/Fairview partners St. John’s and Woodwinds (the two systems merged earlier this year). 

Projections show that trend will continue, with more moms-to-be heading to those spots – and fewer opting for St. John's, the hospital's Vice President Medical Affairs John Kvasnicka, MD, said in the release.

And getting consistent patient numbers is key to operating "effectively and efficiently," said Deb Hurd, vice president and chief nursing officer. 

Since they don't anticipate any uptick or improvement for St. Joseph's it made the most sense to shut down the maternity services.

Kvasnicka called it "not an easy decision," but said investing in the hospitals that are seeing more growth will help them provide top-level care.

If you were planning to deliver at St. Joseph's, the hospital says it hopes you'll consider another HealthEast/Fairview location. You can also call your doctor or midwife, or check this page for another contact.

Other options in the Twin Cities

In St. Paul directly, Regions Hospital and United Hospital remain as two of the higher-profile birthing options. 

This guide from Baby Love lays out some of the differences between each, as well as other hospitals in the Twin Cities area. 

But there are also independent birth centers or home birth options, as Minnesota Parent has pointed out.

Next Up

dnr trout stocking helicopter

DNR uses a helicopter to more efficiently stock lakes with trout

In the past, the DNR used airplanes to stock remote lakes with fish, but the survival rate of the fish was only 85%.

steve simon zoom call

Secretary of State explains plans for segregated absentee ballots

Election officials are reminding voters that it's too late to mail in your absentee ballots.

Halloween, trick-or-treating

Osterholm on safe trick-or-treating: 'I would say go ahead with it'

The infectious disease expert's opinion doesn't align with the CDC's guidance.

drop and go ballot plymouth

It's too late to mail your ballot, but you can still vote. Here's how.

Voters can drop off their absentee ballot, vote early in-person or head to the polls on Election Day.

2019-12-11 f1rst Wrestling Hanukka Havok-Darin Kamnetz-154

Dusting itself off after virus blow, F1rst Wrestling returns to the ring this Sunday

Minnesota's premier independent wrestling company was on top of the world before the virus hit.

1024px-McD-McRib

McDonald's is bringing the McRib back in December

It hasn't appeared on menus for eight years.

Apple Valley High School

2 more Twin Cities districts moving to distance learning for grades 6-12

The decision was announced as infection rates in Dakota County rise.

covid-19 testing site sign

Here are the 4 free COVID-19 testing sites in MN for the week of Nov. 2

People don't need to have symptoms or insurance to get tested for free.

minnesota zoo

Minnesota Zoo launches activities to get people embracing nature

The zoo is hosting a pumpkin scavenger hunt and a "Do the Zoo, Not Zoom Day."

Related