Women's Health

Lilly Knoepp

  The closure of several labor and delivery units at hospitals across Western North Carolina means more mothers and their doctors are planning births differently.  


Dr. Suzanne Dixon has been an OBGYN with the Mountain Area Health Education Center for about 8 years. Most of the time she works in Asheville but she spends 2 days a week in Franklin at Mission Women’s Care. 

 “I’ve been the only one doing the women’s work at that practice,” says Dixon. 

  Last week, the doors closed on Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital’s Labor and Delivery Unit in Murphy. Here’s what the closure means for the region.

The closure was announced abruptly last month, as the number of births at the hospital had been declining for at least the last 5 years.  

Mayor Rick Ramsey of Murphy says he understands the decision because it was based solely on numbers. 

“There’s not enough predictable births to sustain and maintain the staff and the cost for doing so,” says Ramsey.