GMHC partners with Medical Assoc. for obstetric care and deliveries

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Leaders at Guttenberg Municipal Hospital and Clinics (GMHC) have announced that changes will be made to the hospital’s obstetric (OB) services, effective March 1. As a part of this, the hospital will be collaborating with Medical Associates in Dubuque to roll out a new model of obstetric care. 

“It is our responsibility to continuously improve the quality of health care we provide to our patients. The new partnership, developed by our physicians and nurses with Medical Associates, exemplifies that commitment,” stated Karen Merrick, chair of the GMHC Board of Directors. 

After careful review of the services patients are utilizing, and having received input from trusted physicians, the Board of Directors has made the decision to transition to a shared care model for obstetrical services.  

“Being a community-owned hospital, we need to utilize our resources to meet the health care needs of our community. While the demand for some of our services has increased, the area’s relatively low birth rate has prompted us to make changes to how we deliver obstetric care,” said Kelly Dybvig, interim CEO.

Within the new model, GMH will continue to provide prenatal care (up to 36 weeks), as well as postnatal care and women’s health services. However, effective March 1, delivery services will no longer be offered at GMHC.

The GMHC Family Practice physician will work with a board-certified OB/GYN physician from Medical Associates Group, based in Dubuque, to provide the best in prenatal care after 36 weeks. This allows efficient transition of labor and delivery care to Mercy Medical Center Dubuque.  After delivery, GMHC will be available to care for all post-delivery and family care. 

“We are working collaboratively with Medical Associates to share services and expertise to enhance health care services for the community,” said Dr. Andrew Smith, medical director and family physician at GMHC’s Cornerstone Family Practice. “Together, we are offering our patients specialized, state-of-the-art obstetric care. We want the best care for our patients and to provide as much care locally as we can. By working with Medical Associates Obstetric Department, we can provide prenatal care close to home and patients will receive obstetric expertise for their deliveries.”

Prior to the 36-week mark, a health coach coordinator at GMHC will meet with expectant mothers to assist with planning and coordinating their care with an OB/GYN physician at Medical Associates, as well as review all options for delivery. Patient medical records from care provided at GMHC and Medical Associates will be shared at each location. This coordination will simplify the patient experience and provide greater collaboration among the providers involved.

The transition to a new obstetrics care model begins in March, but patients encountering any type of medical emergency, obstetrics-related or otherwise, will still be able to receive services at GMHC, as the hospital will still have experienced staff on-hand to provide emergency services and medical care if necessary. 

“This change is a part of our ongoing commitment to ensure Guttenberg Municipal Hospital remains financially sustainable and able to serve patients of all ages in the community for many years to come,” said Merrick. “Given this, we will continue to offer new and expanded services, such as additional urgent care hours, expanded surgical department and the introduction of new specialists and medical services to the area.”

GMHC has notified expectant mothers of the partnership with Medical Associates and will provide assistance to patients to coordinate care and ensure a smooth transition. For more information, call (563) 252-1121.

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