Palmyra wins appeal, Phoebe plans another lawsuit

Palmyra is moving forward with plans for an obstetrics unit

Officials at Palmyra have big plans for a new obstetrics unit, and they say they understand that some babies will have to be transported to Phoebe.

Chief Palmyra Nurse Susan Mahoney says they're looking forward to having a well baby nursery. "We want a good relationship with Phoebe so that we can, in the event that there is a child that needs services, transfer those babies to Phoebe" says Mahoney.

Phoebe serves 22 counties in Southwest Georgia and they say there are numerous reasons why they aren't happy with the appeal decision, including a transportation aspect.

Phoebe NICU Supervisor Susan Bank says services to other locations in South Georgia that may need them at the same time would suffer because of delayed services. "Every second counts when you're trying to save a baby that needs NICU care" says Bank.

Palmyra officials say they are making appropriate plans now so if and when they need to transport a baby down the street they'll be prepared. "We've begun looking at neonatal resuscitation training that will be provided for all of our nurses, respiratory therapists, medical staff, and house supervisors within the building so that we're able to correctly stabilize the babies until transport is able to arrive" says Mahoney.

Phoebe's Chief Legal Counsel Thomas Chambliss says there are many reasons Phoebe plans to submit a new lawsuit in January to the Georgia Superior Court. "There are quality care issues that haven't been addressed by the state's decision at this point. They have to do with the dilution of available health care resources, they have to do with the existing delivery of health care, they have to do with medical education, and more" says Chambliss.

Officials at Palmyra say they plan to continue with their plans for a new obstetrics unit.