COMMERCE - As of Dec. 9, the stork will not be paying visits to the Banks-Jackson-Commerce (BJC) Medical Center.
Henry Slocum, the hospital's community relations director, says the economy is to blame for BJC's decision to suspend labor and delivery services.
"At the present time, we're just having to look at ways to save money and fight the economic problems that are going on around us," Slocum said.
Slocum also noted that the hospital continues to recruit OB-GYN doctors for the area. He said that it is possible that BJC could re-establish labor and delivery services if demand increases and the economy improves.
Slocum says 66 babies were delivered at BJC last year, and expectant parents will be directed to other hospitals in northeast Georgia that offer labor and delivery services. He specifically mentioned Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville and Athens Regional and St. Mary's in Athens as options.