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Maternity ward loss hits hard

July 1, 2008
WESTFIELD — As the Westfield Memorial Hospital closes its doors to the maternity ward officially on Monday, many residents already feel the loss in the community. “I felt at home and cared for by the staff both times that I was in the maternity ward,” said Kathryn Kelley, who had both her daughters, Breanna and most recently, almost 2-month-old Morganne, at Westfield Memorial Hospital. “We would have driven to St. Vincent’s in Erie if it was closed,” Kelley said. “The nurses are always helpful, understanding and available, in and out of the hospital.” Expectant mother Ashley Lindstrom of Westfield feels the loss of the maternity ward doubly. “I was born at Westfield Memorial Hospital. Many of my friends were born and have delivered there, too,” Lindstrom said. “Actually my friend Kristie Reynolds delivered the last baby there, Finnigen Scott Reynolds on June 20.” Lindstrom, who is due on New Year’s Eve, will now have to drive to either Jamestown or Dunkirk for her delivery. “Am I scared? Yes! Nervous? YES!” Lindstrom said. “Before I knew the maternity ward was shutting down in Westfield, I was thinking it won’t be a long drive when I go into labor to get where I need to go.” Yet another worry to add to all expectant mothers’ worries. Residents are not the only ones who will miss the maternity ward. “A lot of our employees were born here,” hospital administrator Chris Schuyler said, “There’s an emotional attachment with maternity.” The hospital will still provide prenatal care with the physicians who have offices at Westfield. Beginning July 1 the following services will continue to be offered at Westfield Memorial Hospital: Short stay medical service; Short stay and ambulatory surgical service; 24/7 Emergency; Radiology; Laboratory; Four licensed inpatient beds; Cardiac Rehab and Stress Testing; Physical Therapy; Chautauqua Institution Primary Care Clinic; and Diabetes Education. “It is very unfortunate for the people in the area that the maternity ward is closing,” Kelley said. “The community is losing a valuable asset.” Comments on this story may be sent to

Article Photos

OBSERVER Photo by Shirley West
Westfield Memorial Hospital in Westfield.



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