Gem County, Idaho – Valor Health has announced a major transition in its obstetrics program, shifting resources away from inpatient labor and delivery services to enhanced outpatient prenatal and postnatal care within our family medicine clinic.
This decision was made in response to continued staffing and financial challenges that Valor Health is facing due to various factors- including COVID-19 impacts, inflation, staff shortages, and decreasing reimbursements. It has been increasingly difficult and unsustainably expensive to recruit and retain a full team of high-quality, broad-spectrum nurses to work in a rural setting where nurses need to be proficient in many different fields (Emergency Medicine, Inpatient Medicine, and Labor & Delivery).
Valor Health is already facing an imminent labor and delivery service divert situation. Despite numerous investments made in the program, Valor Health is projected to deliver fewer than 50 babies this year, which is below our historical average of 66 per year. To address low utilization, our ongoing labor and delivery staffing crisis, and support our long-term financial viability, CEO Brad Turpen recommended Valor Health stop providing labor and delivery services effective June 1, 2023. The Board of Trustees voted to support the recommendation at their monthly meeting on March 28, 2023. The leadership team at Valor Health will execute a transition plan to provide care for existing patients leading up to June 1, when Valor Health will no longer offer labor and delivery services at its hospital. After June 1, we plan to support enhanced prenatal and postnatal care in Gem County and build partnerships with nearby health systems to provide labor and delivery services for Valor Health patients.
Valor Health Leadership, Board of Trustees, County Commissioners, Medical Staff, and frontline staff stand on the precipice of very important transformative changes to the future of healthcare in Gem County and the surrounding communities. A healthy Valor Health is essential to supporting the ongoing wellness of the people of Gem County. Continuing to innovate and evolve in a rapidly changing healthcare environment is imperative to Valor Health’s success.
This change is one step in a strategy to transform an inpatient-focused model of care into an accessible and affordable healthcare system built on a foundation of high-quality, convenient primary care. Valor Health will build upon its current strengths and create a new highly functional and highly utilized system of care that will serve Emmett, Gem County, and its citizens.
We appreciate our local family medicine physicians and the outstanding care they provide for our community members and the input from all stakeholders in the decision-making process. We are incredibly grateful for our dedicated community volunteers who serve on the Valor Health Board of Trustees for their time and effort in supporting challenging decisions that demonstrate our ability to change and adapt to remain relevant, viable, and successful.
Valor Health is proud to serve our community. We love caring for our patients and are passionate about doing so for decades to come.
Valor Health Executive Offices
Brad Turpen, CEO
Staci Carr, Public Information