Maternity care will end March 19 at Ascension St. Vincent’s Riverside, pushing some pregnant women to other hospitals to give birth.
The hospital said the community’s changing health care needs are the reason to close Ascension St. Vincent’s Family Birth Place. Maternity services will continue at its other hospitals in the city.
“This transition is the result of declining maternity patient volumes at Ascension St. Vincent’s Riverside and the increasing availability of alternative sites for this same care in the region,” the hospital’s brief statement read.
Ascension St. Vincent’s officials would not provide patient numbers, say how the closing will affect staff or explain what the facilities might be used for. A spokesman said only that concentrating obstetrical and neonatal services at two hospitals on the Southside and in Clay County “will help ensure these sites of care will continue to fully meet the broader needs of our community.”
According to the Florida Department of Health, births in Duval County have dropped overall since 2007, with 9.7 births per 1,000 total population in 2020 compared with 11.4 per 1,000 in 2010 and 12.6 per 1,000 in 2001.
Jacksonville’s other major hospitals all offer maternity care, including Baptist Health Maternity Services at its four regional locations, as well as UF Health’s main facility in Springfield and its North campus at
15255 Max Leggett Parkway.
Ascension St. Vincent’s Riverside, at 1 Shircliff Way and Riverside Avenue, continues to offer cardiology, respiratory health and neurology services, with prenatal, postpartum, high-risk pregnancy and neonatal intensive care still listed for now on its website.
After March 19, maternity care will continue at its Southside campus at 4201 Belfort Road, as well as its Clay County facility at 1670 St. Vincent’s Way in Middleburg.
Hospital officials say staff are contacting patients to make sure their care continues at other facilities, including the option to deliver at its Southside or Clay County facilities. As for doctors, nurses and other staff, the hospital said it is working with them “to determine potential opportunities for transitioning to open positions within Ascension St. Vincent’s.”