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Legacy Health statement on the Mount Hood Family Birth Center

Thursday, March 16, 2023 — On Jan. 27, Legacy Health announced we would request a waiver from the Oregon Health Authority to seek their approval to close the Mount Hood Family Birth Center.  

When we started planning for changes at the Mount Hood Family Birth Center last fall, our original goal was to transition the center to a new care model that would continue to deliver safe, quality care in a new, financially viable model. The Mount Hood Family Birth Center has had a low volume of births coupled with an unusually high-cost care model that required 24/7 staffing by an obstetrics doctor. 24/7 staffing with obstetrics doctors is employed at high-volume birth centers with at least 1,500 annual births. Mount Hood is a low-volume birth center with 700 to 1,000 births per year since 2017. 

Over the past several months, Legacy and our doctors at the Mount Hood Family Birth Center evaluated other approaches to our model of care. Unfortunately, we could not identify a model that met all the criteria for Legacy and our providers. As we continued evaluating other approaches, we saw an unanticipated number of staffing vacancies and voluntary departures at the Family Birth Center. As a result, we had to make the difficult decision to apply for a waiver with the Oregon Health Authority, which we did on March 6. 

Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center is a special place, serving Gresham and the East County community for generations. We’ve seen the community’s passion for Legacy Mount Hood come through in the feedback we’ve read and heard from our staff, providers and community who are saddened.  

This week, Legacy received a list of questions from the Oregon Health Authority in response to our waiver requesting approval to close the Family Birth Center. 

Our teams are gathering information to respond to the Oregon Health Authority’s questions. We will submit our answers Friday. We appreciate the thorough and focused approach the Oregon Health Authority is bringing to this important process, and we look forward to continuing this conversation with them. 

Starting on March 17, we will have no new elective admissions at the Mount Hood Family Birth Center. We will operate on divert status for labor and delivery while the OHA is reviewing our waiver request.

All scheduled deliveries will move to Randall Children’s Hospital Family Birth Center. Pregnant people who arrive at Legacy Mount Hood with a pregnancy-related care need will be seen by a provider and then transferred to Randall Children’s for further care. 

Legacy will continue to provide women’s health services at Mount Hood Medical Center. Those services include:

  • Our obstetrics and gynecology doctors, and midwives will continue to serve East County for women’s services in their clinics.
  • We will expand Legacy Medical Group gynecology services, such as annual women’s visits, and gynecology surgery, such as hysterectomy.
  • We will establish high-risk pregnancy outpatient care on our campus, also known as maternal fetal medicine.