BARRON COUNTY -- Mayo Clinic Health Services recently announced its decision to transition labor and delivery services from its Barron hospital to its Family Birth Center in Eau Claire, although the Barron location will continue to provide pre- and postpartum care and services.
“I am disappointed that mothers in the Mayo system will now have to travel to Eau Claire to have their babies,” said State Rep. Dave Armstrong (R-Rice Lake). “I have heard from a number of constituents in recent weeks with concerns about the reduction of services in Barron and Chetek and how it affects them and their families. We cannot lose essential services like this in rural, small-town Wisconsin and ask Mayo Clinic to work with local economic development, city, and county leaders to ensure these services are offered in our areas.
“I recognize the challenges Mayo has faced in trying to recruit enough OB-GYNs and other health professionals to provide the labor and delivery services that new mothers and their babies deserve and expect,” Armstrong continued. “It’s not always easy to persuade a doctor to practice in rural Wisconsin when they can work in Eau Claire, Duluth, or the Twin Cities instead. This problem isn’t limited to the medical field, either. Wisconsin needs to do a better job of attracting and retaining an adequate workforce across a number of industries and professions in rural areas. I am committed to growing the workforce in the 75th Assembly District as well as gaining additional housing and childcare.”
Representative Armstrong, who is also Barron County’s economic development director, serves on a number of economic-related Assembly committees: Jobs and the Economy, Rural Development, Small Business Development, Ways and Means, and Workforce Development. He also serves as an Assembly member of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s board of directors.