To the Editor:

This letter is in reference to application 12-31781-CON regarding the closing of the family birthing center at New Milford Hospital.

My name is Susan Patrick and I have been a registered nurse for 45 years. The bulk of my career has been in maternal/child health.

Two of my children and all six of my grandchildren were born at New Milford Hospital.

New Milford Hospital's family birthing center is made up of two families.

One being the birth family and the other being the staff "family" made up of obstetricians, nurses, ancillary personnel and volunteers.

I have been a member of both families. These two families have interacted for years to ensure a healthy and favorable birthing experience.

The closing of this unit would be a sad ending to what New Milford Hospital has given to our region.

Will expectant mothers wait until the last minutes before delivery to arrive at the emergency room at NMH so their babies will be born at NMH with their own obstetricians delivering their newborns?

Probably not.

Will some use obstetricians out of the area and deliver at Sharon Hospital or Charlotte Hungerford Hospital?


Will some use Danbury obstetricians and deliver at Danbury Hospital?


What a loss for New Milford Hospital's area residents.

Labor and delivery has always had ups and downs as far as delivery outcome. An extra 15 minutes in travel time could make a difference in a favorable or tragic ending.

A parody comes to mind. Products and services are advertised as "new and improved," only to find out... not so much.

Please do not allow the closing of the birthing center at New Milford Hospital in favor of Danbury Hospital.

Susan L. Patrick