St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka and Redwood Memorial Hospital in Fortuna
have earned recognition for excellence in childbirth care by achieving
the federal goal of reducing births via Cesarean section (C-section) to
less than 23 percent. Both hospitals have been named on the
Smart Care C-section Honor Roll, which recognizes hospitals that met or surpassed a federal target to
reduce births via C-section in first-time mothers with low-risk pregnancies.
This is the third year in a row Redwood Memorial Hospital made the honor roll.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services adopted the Healthy People
2020 target of reducing nationwide C-section rates for low-risk, first
births to 23.9 percent. Even for these types of low-risk pregnancies,
there are huge variations in rates of C-sections among hospitals in California,
ranging from less than 15 percent to more than 70 percent.
California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS) stated that the C-section
Honor Roll used 2017 hospital discharge and birth certificate data from
240 California hospitals that offer maternity services. A total of 122
hospitals made the list this year compared to 111 in 2017.
“Earning a place on the Smart Care California C-section Honor Roll
this year is a testament to our efforts to continually make improvements
on ways to reduce C-section rates while keeping the safety of mother and
baby our top priority at both Redwood Memorial and St. Joseph Hospitals,”
said Karen Lewis, Area Nursing Director, St. Joseph Health, Humboldt County.
“St. Joseph Health, Humboldt County’s highest priority is on
providing the safest care for all of our patients. Safety is the primary
concern for determining if a C-section is medically necessary,”
said Roberta Luskin-Hawk, MD, Chief Executive, St. Joseph Health, Humboldt
County. “Our physicians, nurse midwives and nurses monitor mothers
and the babies to determine those situations in which a C-section delivery
is needed and support mothers through labor whenever possible. We’re
proud to have delivered more than 600 babies between the two hospitals
last year,” Luskin-Hawk added.
Smart Care California is a public-private partnership working to promote
safe, affordable health care in California. This coalition of public and
private health care purchasers collectively purchases or manages care
for more than 16 million people statewide.