CHI St. Vincent Infirmary in Little Rock said Thursday it will phase out its labor and delivery services as well as its neonatal intensive care unit.
CHI St. Vincent CEO Chad Aduddell said the services are expected to end by March 1 and the 65 employees who work in that department will be offered other positions in the hospital.
"It is our intention to try and accommodate the staff because we still need nurses," he told Arkansas Business Thursday.
He said that after more than a year of planning, the Little Rock hospital's board and leadership team made the "difficult decision" to focus on other areas of health care.
Over the last decade, the number of deliveries fell from 2,000 to 800 at CHI's flagship hospital in Arkansas.
"Hospitals across Arkansas, across the country are facing the challenges of rising costs that are unsustainable," he said. "So we have choices to make. We have to change."
He said women's services will continue to be offered at CHI St. Vincent Infirmary.
And labor and delivery as well as NICU will continue at CHI's other hospitals in Arkansas.
He also said that other providers in central Arkansas can take care of the pregnant women and their babies. "There are multiple other programs here in the community … that have good programs in those areas where the patients are going to be well cared for," he said.