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Keep the gift of life in Auburn

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Sutter has announced the closure of its Family Birth Center in Auburn, citing multiple reasons (Journal, May 3). It is a sad direction that our small community-based hospitals are being forced to move, downsizing comprehensive services and leaving communities vulnerable to inadequate care. Extravagant campus-size hospitals are supported and the small and intimate sister units are left to struggle or be eliminated all in the name of business. Sutter Auburn Faith’s Family Birth Center has provided exceptionally high-level care to families in Placer County for years, with patient satisfaction in the upper 90th percentile. The FBC is a department of genuinely dedicated, competent staff that provide women with loving, supportive care in a uniquely small and intimate environment. To allow Sutter Sacramento Regional to consolidate services and remove a department that is loved and provides awesome, loving care to our community is criminal. Our families deserve to have services in their local hospital and not be forced to travel to the organization’s large centers. The loss of maternal child services in Auburn is huge. It is a disservice to our mothers and the community. It is potentially unsafe and dangerous to expect laboring women to travel 20-30-40 miles outside their community during labor. We also provide a large service to MediCal clients in our community which Sutter Roseville declines and limits. Who will meet their needs? They will flounder for care! I embrace the Sutter motto, “Patients First.” Please save our local maternal-child health care. I urge everyone who has birthed in Auburn or experienced our services to voice your support. DENISE PAVELKO, R.N., 20-year employee SAF FBC, Auburn