Updated Fri, Jan 10, 2014 1:34 pm
Doctors Hospital of Nelsonville will no longer be providing surgery services, effective Feb. 1.
Hospital administrator LaMar Wyse said three jobs — two registered nursing positions and an operating room technician job — were eliminated Thursday as a result of the decision.
Wyse said no decision has been made to phase out Doctors Hospital of Nelsonville, and that eliminating surgery services is not part of any overall plan to do so. He cited a couple of reasons why surgery services are ending — the changing career path of the hospital’s surgeon, and the low number of surgeries being perform.
The hospital has one general surgeon, Dr. David Drozek, who Wyse said has chosen to redirect his career, focusing on endoscopies and lifestyle medicine.
Drozek said that endoscopies are already about 80 percent of what he does at Doctors Hospital. He also said he is already involved in lifestyle medicine — which utilizes diet, stress management and other factors to reverse or prevent chronic disease — and that he will be expanding his work in that area.
Drozek said there were multiple factors involved in the decision to end surgery at Nelsonville’s Doctors Hospital, but that he might have impacted the timing of it. He said it is not a situation where he is changing his practice because the hospital decided to stop surgical services.
Wyse said the hospital has been averaging about eight surgeries per month, and those were primarily minor, non-emergency cases. He noted that the hospital already had an arrangement with O’Bleness Memorial Hospital to perform after-hours surgeries, which consist of emergency cases.
Doctors Hospital of Nelsonville is part of OhioHealth.
In November it was announced that an agreement had been signed for O’Bleness Health Services to become a full member of OhioHealth. That could potentially impact the status of the three people at Doctors Hospital whose jobs were eliminated Thursday, according to Wyse. He said if O’Bleness has openings, and if those people are hired within their severance periods, they will retain their seniority. Wyse said he does not know if that will happen.