Providence owned St Patrick Hospital, in Missoula, announced Monday it is in the baby business.
The announcement comes on the heels of a story NBC Montana brought you last week.
We started asking questions after an advertisement for a Regional Director of Women’s Health, based in Missoula, appeared on the Providence Health Services’ website,
The ad says the applicant would be in charge of in-patient obstetrics and a neo-natal intensive care unit at Saint Patrick and at another Providence property – Saint Joseph in Polson.
Saint Joseph delivers babies. Saint Patrick does not. Neither has a NICU or neo-natal intensive care unit.
Community Medical Center has both.
In a new release issued today, St Patrick officials say the facility will provide inpatient care for women and children.
According to JoAnn Hoven, “services will include inpatient obstetrical and newborn care, with a Level 2 neonatal intensive care unit; an expanded inpatient and outpatient pediatric program; and outpatient obstetrical/gynecological and perinatology care.”
This development also comes just weeks after Community Medical Center announced it was being bought out by Billings Clinic and a for-profit group based in Tennessee.
Saint Patrick has talked about adding babies to its business for years.
In 2001, the Saint Patrick Board decided to add babies to its business.
But the NICU was left to Community.
Sources indicate a similar arrangement was kicked around in 2013 and, again, set aside.
But the two have a collaborative agreement.
Community’s Mary Windecker said that deal, firmed up in the last few months, allows Saint Patrick’s contracted patients access to obstetrics services at Community and Community patients access to to open heart services at Saint Patrick.
Windecker says the deal applies to any future owners and can be canceled at will by either party.