Mt. Hood Birthing Center to reopen next week

For months, a vital resource for many had been threatened as Legacy Health’s Mt. Hood Birthing Center shut its doors.
Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 10:34 PM PDT
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GRESHAM, Ore. (KPTV) - For months, a vital resource for many had been threatened as Legacy Health’s Mt. Hood Birthing Center shut its doors.

However, the Oregon Health Authority did not permit them to do so and next Tuesday those doors are set to re-open.

Teddy Glemser, Charge nurse of the Emergency Department at Mt. Hood Medical Center, calls it a soft opening.

“The nursing staff, we knew it along,” Glemser said talking about the closure. “We knew this was not the right choice to make.”

After all kinds of rallies and community support, Glemser said she finally feels recognized.

“We can stand up, and we can do big powerful things in our community.”

Over the course of several months, Legacy Health said they had no choice but to close the doors at the birthing center. However, the OHA did not approve their waiver to do so.

“I feel very proud. I feel proud of myself, my co-workers, the community, the legislatures that all stepped up and were willing to fight this good fight.”

Glemser said in the Emergency Department, they’ve seen quite a few pregnancies come through their doors where some expecting mothers were unaware the birthing center wasn’t operating. She said they’ve managed well “but it’s been an unsafe environment and we’ve had to transfer most patients out to seek care elsewhere.”

She said an expecting mother deserves to deliver their child in a controlled environment, something she knows from experience the emergency department is not.

“Delivering in the emergency department is not a calm environment at all.” Glemser said. “I feel like having the birth center back open will bring that back to this community and give women the calm and peaceful environment they deserve when bringing a new life into the world.”

Glemser says she has had patients who are concerned about having to travel the extra distance to get to a place to safely deliver their child, but she explained that she was able to share with a patient last week that the center would be reopening. The patient was excited.

Glemser is also expecting in September and having already had two children delivered at the Mt. Hood Birthing Center, she was also among those concerned about having to travel further away. Although she says the birthing center will have to re-build as only part of the staff is returning, those who work there are people she can trust.

“It’s been a big rollercoaster, but I’m glad it worked out in a positive way for everyone.”

She said it’s likely a full opening might not be possible until August.