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Let us rally in support of birth center

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I was greatly saddened and slightly appalled to read of the impending closure of the Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital Family Birthing Center (Journal, May 3). For over 45 years this facility has provided outstanding, unsurpassed patient care for our local families. The doctors, nurses and associated staff are widely respected and second-to-none. The dedication, professionalism and nurturing demeanor of this department is almost legendary. Without public outcry, I’m afraid the cycle of life that binds and defines the very fabric of our community will be lost forever. The hospital chief of staff was quoted as saying “it was a regional decision. It is quality and access to care.” What absolute nonsense. The quality of care at Auburn Faith Birthing Center is first-rate by any standard and the access is obviously just down the road and couldn’t be more convenient. The management should really have shown a little more backbone and understanding for what this department truly means and has to offer the local community. Auburn Faith administrators have let us all down; they have failed to grasp the significance of being able to birth our new community right here in our own community. This at a time when Auburn is seeing revitalization in its infrastructure and downtown areas. Emerging is a feeling of true vibrant identity and independence. Without a correction here to Sutter’s insensitive, ill-planned decision, we are now going to be forced or reduced to being a satellite commuter community. Do we all want that? Instead of the one-on-one nurturing service now provided here in Auburn, young mothers and families will be forced to travel to Costcoesque birthing alternatives much further west. In times of economic belt-tightening, a more creative marketing approach could see even a segment of the Roseville/Rocklin areas seeking out Auburn Faith Family Birthing Center as a more natural and holistic approach to birth. Don’t just fold your cards, Auburn, and succumb to Sacramento Sutter Health’s wishes of what they think we need. I urge all caring citizens who truly cherish the professionalism, the love and attention so vitally provided by the birthing venter to make your feelings heard. If the powers that be hear our concerns and love for this institution then maybe, just maybe, opinions can be changed. But we must act now. PETER NEWMAN, Auburn