Letter to the Editor: Shame on Valley Health


Valley Health’s decision to not have an obstetrics and delivery department in the new hospital was short-sighted, but their new decision to close this department at Warren Memorial Hospital in May is outrageous and reckless beyond words.

This decision is totally driven by money, not what’s best for residents who live and work in Front Royal/Warren County.  Valley Health is violating their own mission statement – “Serving our Community by Improving Health Care”; trashing their vision statement, “Leading with innovative health care to achieve superior clinical outcomes”, and walking away from their core values of “Compassion, Excellence, Integrity, Innovation, Collaboration and Courage” with this horrible decision.

I challenge the physicians and community leaders to push back vigorously in their opposition to the decision to deny our community of this critically necessary medical service, and even take legal action against Valley Health if that’s what it will take to reverse this imminent decision, and push them to include an obstetrics department in the new hospital.
Valley Health’s decision regarding labor and delivery services will deter new, young families from moving here.  This provides a significant health risk to pregnant women in labor and their unborn babies, since under optimal conditions it takes at least 30 minutes to get from Front Royal to Winchester, and even longer travel time for folks living out in the county.  Hopefully, first responders between Front Royal and Winchester will be well-trained in labor and delivery, since that may be the only option available in the future … having a baby in the back seat of a vehicle.
Instead of this short-sighted and dangerous decision, Valley Health should be incorporating a state-of-the-art obstetrics program for the new hospital, and maintain the existing program at Warren Memorial Hospital.  To do anything less is unthinkable – both medically and ethically.
Anne Boyd Earle, Front Royal