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Editorial: Countless thankful for service at The Baby Place

Wednesday marked the end of an era in Albert Lea with the closure of The Baby Place at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea.

Over the years, doctors and nurses there have brought thousands of babies into the world. These staff members have been there through the highs and lows — to celebrate the births of healthy newborns and, on the other hand, to comfort those families who have experienced the loss of a child or complications along the way.

To the workers in Albert Lea’s labor and delivery unit, we thank you. Thank you for your service in providing vital childbirth services to our community. Many people here will forever be indebted, and we thank you for your kindness.

Whatever the future holds, we encourage people to hold their memories close as we begin this next chapter without labor and delivery services in Albert Lea.

We, like many, are concerned about what the increased distance will mean to residents who have to travel to Austin for the inpatient services that have been transitioned. Whether it be expectant mothers, children, the elderly or anything in-between, all are valued members of the community, and when it comes to the difference between life and death, timing is everything.

We hope this chapter in the city’s history without labor and delivery services is just that — a chapter — and that babies will someday again be born in Albert Lea.