Chatham Hospital in Siler City is delivering babies for the first time in 28 years with a vision of revitalizing health care in rural North Carolina. 

The effort is fueled with support from UNC Health, which purchased the hospital in 2008, and a desire to train family physicians and keep them in rural communities.

But there is risk: Over 130 rural hospitals nationwide have closed within the past decade and offering a new service line as hospitals continue to recover from COVID-related financial losses is a big gamble. 

Despite the risks, after spending $2.6 million to build UNC Chatham’s Maternity Care Center, and an expectation to deliver as many as 120 babies in the first year, UNC Health is optimistic the center will be a success for the system and rural health care.

Rural hospitals are struggling to survive - over 130 have closed since 2010.
This effort also trains future doctors and unites local services to help address the social determinants of health.
What success means for UNC Chatham
Maternity care can add nearly $1 million to the local economy