Craig If anyone deserved to have the Labor Day holiday off, it was Dr. Gregory Roberts, a Moffat Family Clinic physician. After all, he spent the past month delivering numerous babies at The Memorial Hospital.
"Certainly, August was the biggest month I remember ever having," said Roberts, a 15-year family doctor. "It was the biggest month in my practice."
The upswing in Roberts' deliveries coincides with an increase in the number of babies being born at TMH. The hospital, which has averaged about seven deliveries per month in 2007, has been home to 25 births in the past two months.
Twelve babies were born in July and 13 in August, according to hospital records. The two-month total represents a peak for TMH this year and brings the year-to-date total to 65 infants taking their first breaths inside the hospital.
Roberts has delivered more than half of the 25 newborns - ushering in two babies in July and 11 last month.
Samantha Johnston, TMH service excellence officer, said the burden on family doctors such Roberts, who is required to be within 15 minutes of the hospital while on call, could be relieved with the hiring of an obstetrician/gynecologist.
TMH has been recruiting for the specialist position for the past year. The new doctor would help with the current patient load and also would deliver babies.
"An OB/GYN in Craig would be a big factor in ensuring that mothers in this community choose to stay in Craig for health care related to their pregnancies," Johnston said. "Currently, mothers who want an OB/GYN to deliver their baby have to travel to Steamboat, where the specialists are."
There is no timetable for when an OB/GYN will be added to the TMH staff. Johnston said the hospital is committed to finding the right person rather than hiring someone quickly.
"When the right fit comes along, we'll make the hire," she said.
Roberts agreed that an OB/GYN would be a benefit.
"Right now, we only have two people in our practice that are doing deliveries," he said. "Having another person to fit into that rotation would be very helpful."
Johnston said it's too early to tell whether the last two months are merely a statistical anomaly or a sign that more soon-to-be mothers are choosing TMH for their health care needs.
Joshua Roberts can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or firstname.lastname@example.org.