FREEPORT, Ill. (WTVO) — FHN Memorial Hospital announced it would be ending inpatient children’s care on Monday.

The hospital network said it would be partnering with regional hospitals for pediatric care.

“This decision was not made lightly. As we have been able to offer advanced outpatient care in the office setting, the number of hospitalized pediatric patients at FHN has decreased by 54 percent over the past three years,” said FHN Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer/Chief Nursing Officer Kathryn Martinez DHA, MSN, RN FACHE. “When there is a low volume of inpatient pediatric patients, it is difficult to maintain the expertise and skill required to meet the clinical and developmental needs of our pediatric patients.”

Throughout the state, many rural and community hospitals already transfer more complex pediatric cases to regional children’s hospitals, Martinez said.

“Please don’t hesitate to bring any member of your family to our ER for care,” said FHN President and CEO Mark Gridley MBA, FACHE. “If your child requires immediate medical attention, our specially trained Emergency Room staff and providers are here to provide expert emergent care.” 

FHN will continue to offer pediatric office visits and outpatient surgical services such as tonsillectomy, orthopaedic repair, and laparoscopic appendectomy, it said.