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Last inpatient pediatric unit in Madison County closing July 1

ANDERSON, Ind. – Parents are hoping to find answers after learning the inpatient pediatric unit at Community Health Anderson is closing. The hospital did not announce the closure until CBS4 pressed them for answers Wednesday afternoon.

It started with a rumor on the Central Indiana Mothers Facebook page. With more than 200 comments and 1,000 shares, the community questioned the closure.

Concerned mother Stephany Finney was determined to get answers after two nurses warned her about the closure.

“I contacted the pediatric unit myself. The under the weather program and the nurse confirmed it with me over the phone and said that they only had a 29-day notice that their jobs were going to be no longer and they were trying to move them to departments that they never worked in,” said Finney, the founder of Central Indiana Mothers.

Finney is among those questioning how the hospital has handled the situation.

“As a community leader, I’m wondering why it wasn’t mentioned to the community that we are losing such a vital service and the only pediatric unit here in Madison County,” said Finney.

In a statement, officials said in part, “We have continued to see a steep decline in our number of pediatric inpatients. This trend has been happening over several years and is not unique to our hospital, county, or state and has ultimately led us to make the decision to transition our pediatric unit, which was averaging only .4 patients per day, into additional beds for our adult medical-surgical unit.”

“It’s very worrisome to me that we don’t have a dedicated pediatric unit. Yes, there are other doctors there. But these doctors and nurses have went through pediatric training and we will no longer have that for our community. It’s very saddening as a parent,” said Finney.

The seven employees in the unit will be transferred to other departments or another hospital in the network. Finney says she believes parents will also worry not only about the child’s sickness, but also transportation, costs and care.

“It’s just really disheartening for the community, for the employees, for the parents, all of it. It’s just upsetting,” said Finney.

Despite the closure, Community Health says it will still have services for pediatric patients if they need care.

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