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Beverly Hospital says it will lease closed birth center to midwifery practice

BEVERLY - Although Beverly Hospital's plans to close its North Shore Birth Center in December, the hospital plans to lease the building to a midwifery practice for a while.

"We understand and appreciate that midwifery care and birth center-based services are valued choices in our community, and we are committed to continuing to support low-intervention options for maternal care patients," Tom Sands, president of Beverly Hospital.  

North Shore Birth Center
In June, a group rallied outside Beverly Hospital hoping to save the North Shore Birth Center. CBS Boston

The move, the hospital said in a statement, is aimed at helping an independent practice get established while it looks for a new birth center location. The hospital also said it would offer "birth center-like services" at the hospital, including a newly purchased water birth tub.

In addition, Beth Israel Lahey Health, the parent group of Beverly Hospital said it planed to offer $1.5 million in grants to support and create community birth centers.

The hospital plans to create maternal-newborn Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC) to help maternal and newborn caregivers at the hospital with patients and family members in the community.  

The hospital said the closure of the birth center was due to staffing issues. In June, demonstrators rallied outside the hospital to protest the closing of the center.

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