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Birthing care on Cape Cod to get obstetrics residents this summer

Medical residents in obstetrics and gynecology will begin working on Cape Cod this summer as part of Cape Cod Healthcare’s new affiliation with Beth Israel Lahey Health.

That’s just one way the health systems will work together, said Dr. Kevin Tabb, CEO of Beth Israel Lahey.

“We envision a broad, comprehensive relationship, and we intend to work together across a wide range of clinical programs over time,” he said.

The health systems announced their affiliation Tuesday; it still requires regulatory approval.

The move to bring obstetric residents to the Cape comes two years after Cape Cod Healthcare closed its maternity and pediatric units at Falmouth Hospital, consolidating that care at Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis.

Earlier this week, Mike Lauf, CEO of Cape Cod Healthcare, said training graduate medical students on Cape Cod will help the hospitals recruit new doctors.

“Having help filling key positions on the Cape will be instrumental to our survival, because if you don't have the physicians here locally, then that care will be transferred to Boston,” he said.

The affiliation will bring 10 new primary-care providers to Cape Cod, and cardiac surgeons from Beth Israel Lahey will start working on the Cape within about four months, replacing the previous relationship with Brigham & Women’s Hospital.

Beth Israel Lahey Health wants to provide more care in local settings, and that’s one reason it’s partnering with the hospitals on Cape Cod, Tabb said.

“I think we anticipate working together to determine exactly which areas Cape Cod Healthcare is in most need of help and support around, particularly as it relates to specialty and complex care,” he said.

He said the health system’s Boston-area facilities will be available for patients who need to leave the Cape for their care.

Beth Israel Lahey Health will become the preferred provider for Cape Cod Healthcare patients who need to be referred off-Cape, but Tabb said physicians will still have complete latitude to refer patients elsewhere, and patients will have the choice as well.

Jennette Barnes is a reporter and producer. Named a Master Reporter by the New England Society of News Editors, she brings more than 20 years of news experience to CAI.