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March of Dimes and Indiana Hospital Association recognize Community Health Network’s work to improve quality of life for mothers and newborns

For release on September 10, 2014

Indiana Hospitals are making a difference in reducing early elective delivery rates

Indianapolis, IN – March of Dimes and the Indiana Hospital Association (IHA) recognized Community Health Network at the Indiana Perinatal Hospital Summit, September 5, 2014, at the Ritz Charles in Carmel for their work to reduce the number of elective inductions and cesarean deliveries performed before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy. This will give more babies in Indiana a healthy start in life.

“The last weeks of pregnancy are important, “said Donetta Gee-Weiler, vice president of women’s and children’s services at Community Health Network. “Babies aren’t just putting on weight; they are undergoing important development of the brain, lungs and other vital organs. I commend Community for being a champion for babies with their quality improvement effort.”

At the event, 51 of Indiana’s birthing hospitals were recognized for their work to reduce the number of elective inductions and cesarean deliveries performed before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy. Indiana has more hospitals recognized than any other state in the East Region – this includes the area east of the Mississippi River.

“The significant reduction in Indiana’s early elective delivery rate shows that hospitals have made tremendous strides in improving the quality of life for both mothers and their newborns. Hospitals that have implemented a hard-stop policy have virtually eliminated early deliveries,” said Doug Leonard, president of the Indiana Hospital Association.

Worldwide, 15 million babies are born too soon each year and more than one million of those infants die as a result of their early births. Babies who survive an early birth often face the risk of lifelong health challenges, such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities and others. Even babies born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants. Recent research by the March of Dimes, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found that although the overall threat is small, the risk of death more than doubles for infants born at 37 weeks of pregnancy when compared to babies born at 40 weeks, for all races and ethnicities.

Through Strong Start, a partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, March of Dimes has been getting the word out that “Healthy Babies Are Worth the Wait.”

The campaign urges women to wait for labor to begin on its own if their pregnancy is healthy, rather than scheduling delivery before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy. In Indiana, IHA and the March of Dimes Indiana Chapter have partnered to improve the quality of birth outcomes statewide, including the effort successfully completed by Community Health Network.

About Community Health Network
Ranked among the nation’s most integrated healthcare systems, Community Health Network is Central Indiana’s leader in providing convenient access to exceptional healthcare services, where and when patients need them—in hospitals, health pavilions and doctor’s offices, as well as workplaces, schools and homes. As a non-profit health system with over 200 sites of care and affiliates throughout Central Indiana, Community’s full continuum of care integrates hundreds of physicians, specialty and acute care hospitals, surgery centers, home care services, MedChecks, behavioral health and employer health services. To learn more, visit eCommunity.com or call 800-777-7775.

March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. The March of Dimes offers professional and consumer education materials about the importance of a full term pregnancy and the critical development of the brain, lungs and other organs that occur during the last weeks of pregnancy. For the latest resources and information, visit nacersano.org. More information is available at: marchofdimes.com/39weeks and www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6XcWBcaliA.

Indiana Hospital Association is a non-profit organization that serves as the professional trade association for 164 Hoosier hospitals. These members are either independent or a member of one of the 23 systems in the state. Membership includes hospitals, multi-hospital systems and community mental health centers. The mission of the IHA is to provide leadership, representation and services in the common best interests of its members as they promote the improvement of community health status. IHA’s primary responsibility is to represent the interests of hospitals in matters of public policy. IHA also provides members with education, communications and data collection services.

Media contacts

Lynda deWidt
PR & Media Relations Director
Community Health Network

Jennifer Hurtubise
Director of Communications
Indiana Hospital Association

Minjoo Morlan
Associate Director Programs, Public Affairs
March of Dimes



Lynda de Widt, Media Relations
Lynda de Widt
Media Relations