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Delaware County Memorial Hospital Maternity Ward Shutting Down

DREXEL HILL, Pa. (CBS) -- Dozens of labor and delivery nurses are looking for new jobs. One of our region's largest health care systems is closing a maternity unit and consolidating services.

Effective Friday, Jan. 21, the maternity ward and the neonatal intensive care units at Delaware County Memorial Hospital in Drexel Hill will close its doors for good.

In 19 days, patients will now be forced to travel 12 miles to Crozer-Chester Medical Center, which is a 30-minute car ride and at least a 50-minute commute by way of public transportation for those services.

CSB3 spoke to two nurses who work at Delaware County Memorial about how this move will affect their patients.

"A large portion of our community relies on public transportation for them to get around. And unfortunately, Crozer is not very convenient for that," labor room nurse Jessica Yashin said.

When asked why they think Crozer health's parent company, Los Angeles-based Prospect Medica -- a for-profit hospital management company -- made this decision, the nurses didn't mince words.

"My understanding is that they're consolidating. I can't speak to what their motives are, I can only assume it is a profit-motivated decision and unfortunately, it is the community that's going to suffer," Yashin said.

"It's money. To merge the unit over to Crozer, to merge what they can of the staff so they don't have to run two separate units," labor room nurse Lisa Sullivan said.

There's another element involved here.

Yashin has been a nurse in the unit for 20 years. Sullivan, for 18. They love where they work, who they work with and the patients they serve.

Last Tuesday, a few days after Christmas, they learned that's all ending in a matter of days. Here's what they'll miss most.

"I'm gonna miss my friends and the relationships we developed the last 18 years," Sullivan said.

Crozer Health issued a statement, saying the move is being made to be able to continue providing the highest quality care and to maintain staffing and services. Additionally, they say they are exploring transportation options for patients who may struggle with reliable transportation.

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