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RVMC leads county in births

Since you asked

I've noticed in the Mail Tribune's birth announcements recently that so many babies are being born at Ashland Community Hospital ' more than at Rogue Valley Medical Center and Providence Medford Medical Center.

My neighbors, who don't work, had their third child there. Are these all Oregon Health Plan babies?

' Jeannie P., Medford

Seems unlikely, Jeannie. Whether you work wouldn't necessarily affect where you might choose to have your baby.

The birth announcements published in the newspaper are by no means a comprehensive record of all the new arrivals in Southern Oregon.

Years ago, hospitals routinely sent local newspapers the names of infants and their parents. These days, concerns about safety and identity theft have prompted many hospitals to stop sharing those names, leaving the decision up to parents.

Providence Medford Medical Center and Rogue Valley Medical Center, for example, no longer send information about newborns to newspapers.

RVMC encourages parents not to announce births publicly. We feel public birth announcements can sometimes draw some unwanted attention, said RVMC spokeswoman Andrea Jablonski.

Ashland Community Hospital is the only Jackson County hospital that still routinely sends birth information to newspapers for the parents ' but only when the parents request it.

So it shouldn't surprise you if we publish more births from Ashland ' the hospital makes it easy.

Just for the record, statistics from the Oregon Health Division report 2,365 live births in Jackson County during 2001. Of those, 314 occurred at Ashland Community Hospital; 458 at Providence Medford; and 1,517 at RVMC. (Seventy-six babies were born somewhere other than a hospital.)

Parents always have the option to call the newspaper on their own to share their good news, just the way people announce their weddings and anniversaries.

Parents who want to include their new baby in the birth announcements can call the newsroom at 776-4477.