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LA GRANDE — Officials at several regional medical facilities say they understand why Saint Alphonsus Medical Center in Baker City made the decision to shut down its birthing center but have no plans to follow suit.

The Baker City hospital announced on Thursday, June 22, that its birth center will close July 30. In announcing the pending closure of the birth center in Baker City, Saint Alphonsus cited a decline in the number of babies delivered there — from 128 in 2020 to a projected 75 this year — as well as the difficulty in employing enough nurses in the obstetrics department.

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