End of an era
Memorial Hospital closed its maternity center on Friday, an operation that was responsible for providing care to patients during each stage of pregnancy.
In a press release sent by the hospital, a steady decline in the number of births and financial challenges were cited as the reason for the closure.
Memorial Hospital holds roots dating back to 1925 when Mrs. Hila C. Mills opened the Mills Maternity and Convalescent Home located on South Main Street in Towanda. The facility developed over the years into Memorial Hospital, which was incorporated in 1959. Thousands of babies have been born at the hospital since its incorporation, the press release said.
In celebrating the history of the maternity center, employees honored the last baby to be born at the hospital, Brynleigh Eve Carey, who was brought into the world at 3:45 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 16.
Brynleigh's parents, Bethany Dodge and Shawn Carey of Towanda , celebrated the birth along with their four year old daughter, Bailey.
"We are thankful that we could have our baby at Memorial Hospital," Bethany said.
"This hospital has been an important part of my life for my entire life," she noted.
Bethany, who was also born at the hospital, is employed as a medical technologist at Memorial.
"We feel very special to be the last family to enjoy the wonderful experience of having our baby at Memorial Hospital's Maternity Center," Bethany explained.
"People at Memorial Hospital are like members of my family. It was nice to be surrounded by familiar faces. I enjoyed having my family with me throughout the whole experience."
Memorial hospital issued a statement dubbing the closure of the maternity center as "the end of an era," but looked to the future with a quote from Alexander Graham Bell: "When one door closes, another door opens."
Tim Zyla can be reached at (570) 265-1634; or e-mail: email@example.com.