The Math behind Labor and Delivery
Last year, Jennie M. Melham Memorial Medical Center hosted its open house for the reopening of the Labor and Delivery unit here in Broken Bow. Just recently, we had another visit from Nebraska’s Lieutenant Governor, Mike Foley. It’s a tremendous reintroduction to our community – not just here in Broken Bow but for the entire region surrounding Custer County.
First and foremost, this is a huge wind for our residents and the people we serve. The numbers don’t matter as much as the safety and security of our children and families. This essential service elevates how our community can take care of the people that call our area home.
In addition, there’s a big win for our community in keeping people local for this momentous life change. Let’s take a look.
In Broken Bow, alone, we average 35 babies per year (based on U.S. Census data). This means 35 families need this medical service. These families would have to take up services elsewhere: Kearney, Hastings, North Platte, Grand Island. On average, a family would travel 160 miles round trip. A typical pregnancy includes 15 clinic visits. That’s about 2,500 miles traveled. The average miles per gallon in the year 2018 was 24.7 mpg which means that family will purchase 104 gallons of gas. The total amount spent on gas alone? $270. On those visits, if we assume that each family is only the 2 parents, they will spend, on average, $20 on a meal, $50 at a grocery store and about $15 on a typical impulse buy (according to a study conducted in 2017). This couple will spend $85 on each visit which brings in additional spending of $1,275!
Keep in mind, these are averages, there’s variance, exceptions to the rule and so on. If we are just talking about the typical person, the very existence of this service in Broken Bow puts nearly $1,500 back in the pockets of these families. It’s important to note that, before discontinuing the service in 2017, JMMMC was delivering anywhere from 54 to over 100 babies per year. That’s plenty of help for plenty of people.