With nearly four million babies born in the U.S. every year, childbirth is the most common reason for hospitalization. Prospective parents looking for the best, affordable maternity care available will want to know that the hospitals of Community Healthcare System: Community Hospital in Munster, St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago and St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart have been recognized as Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care by Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS).
The BCBS Distinction Centers designation recognizes hospitals that demonstrate expertise in providing quality specialty care and have been evaluated on safety measures.
“The Blue Distinction Centers program offers parents an objective source of information to help find quality care for new mothers and their children,” said Dr. Trent Haywood, senior vice president and chief medical officer for BCBS. “Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care serve as the foundation for promoting quality maternity care nationally. Our research shows that consumers want the right information to become confident in their healthcare decisions. We will continue to collaborate with medical experts to evolve the criteria used to evaluate hospitals and make the information readily available to consumers, providers and employers.”
Hospitals that receive a Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care designation agree to meet requirements that align with principles that support evidence-based practices of care, as well as supporting programs to promote successful breastfeeding, as described in the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative by Baby-Friendly USA. The Blue Distinction program also evaluates hospitals on overall patient satisfaction, including a willingness to recommend the hospital to others.
“We understand that our smallest patients are most vulnerable and new parents can count on us for specialized care,” said CEO Don Fesko. “At Community Hospital, we have Northwest Indiana's only skilled team of nurses, respiratory therapists and board certified neonatologist who are in-house 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure proper treatment for high-risk newborns. Parents with babies admitted to our nurseries can trust that their little ones receive immediate specialized care, should the circumstance arise. Our hospitals work in unison to ensure that access to this type of care is seamless and available to all.”
St. Catherine Hospital CEO Jo Ann Birdzell said, “The Family Birthing Center staff at St. Catherine Hospital advocates for quality healthcare for women by maintaining the highest standards of clinical practice and patient satisfaction, by stressing the importance of continuing education and by promoting patient education. And all of our staff are very friendly – and will treat you just like family.”
St. Mary Medical Center CEO Janice Ryba said, “Our outstanding physicians, nurses and Family Birthing Center staff at St. Mary Medical Center provide personalized care to each of our families, making sure they have the best experience possible. That special attention makes a difference in our families’ birthing experience. As one of four hospitals in the state to be chosen as a Baby-Friendly Nursing Collaborative, we are proud to lead the way in creating effective solutions to help women and their babies have a healthy, happy life.”
BCBS companies across the nation have recognized more than 280 hospitals as Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care. Hospitals recognized for these designations were assessed using a combination of publicly available quality information and cost measures derived from BCBS companies’ medical claims.
For more information about the Family Birthing Centers and maternity care available at the hospitals of Community Healthcare System: Community Hospital, Munster; St. Catherine Hospital, East Chicago and St. Mary Medical Center, Hobart, visit comhs.org.