Fortuna’s obstetrics unit is moving to Eureka, but there is a strong pushback from locals

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FORTUNA, Calif. (KIEM)- The closing of the obstetrics unit in Fortuna was announced in late February.

In a press release from Providence, formerly known as St. Joseph Health, it stated that the reason for the closure is the declining birth volumes across the Eel River Valley and the county-wide loss of women’s services physicians.

Danny Kelley, a concerned citizen and member of the Save Redwood Memorial Hospital Moms and Babies Campaign, says that he thinks the reason for the closure is money.

“By closing obstetrics service at Redwood Memorial, St. Joseph Eureka stands to gain about $2 million annually,” said Kelley. “In fact, you know, keeping obstetrics open at Redwood Memorial is kind of competing against their service line in Eureka.”    

Many in the communities affected by this decision feel like it will negatively affect future mothers-to-be and their babies despite the benefits that providence says it will bring.

Kelley says now that the decision has been made, what this campaign is pushing for is to reverse the decision and keep the obstetrics program in Fortuna.

The way Kelley wants to go about this is hitting providence where is hurts, their pockets.

“So, we’re asking our community to withhold donations to Providence for supporting local projects,” said Kelley. “We’re asking the community to sign a petition asking the AG to intervene.”     

Kelley hopes that the community can come together and fight this battle to keep the obstetrics program in Fortuna.  

For more information about this campaign, click here.