Thursday, August 28, 2014

March of Dimes Recognizes Community Hospital-Fairfax For Its Work to Give More Babies a Healthy Start in Life

CH-F was recently recognized for 
ZERO Early Elective Deliveries!

Pictured Above are representatives from the Missouri Chapter of the March of Dimes along with Aron Burke M.D, Dustin Carpenter M.D. and Carl Luem M.D. CH-F Nursing staff pictured include Dina Ridley, RN, Tina Stiff, RN, Marcee Dougan, RN, Samantha Grist, RN and Kimberly Taylor, RN.

Community Hospital-Fairfax is recognized for reducing the number of elective inductions and Cesarean deliveries performed before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy. The March of Dimes says this will give more babies a healthy start in life. Babies delivered before full term are at increased risk of serious health problems and death in their first year of life.

“We’re proud of our expert team of physicians and nurses who saw this opportunity to improve care in our community and put in place policies to avoid scheduling elective inductions or caesarean deliveries before 39 weeks of pregnancy, except when medically necessary” said Roger Steinkruger, CEO.
This achievement is recognized through a banner from the March of Dimes and Missouri Hospital Association (MHA).

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.

According to Trina Ragain, State Director of Program Services, Advocacy and Government Affairs, March of Dimes Missouri Chapter, “The last weeks of pregnancy are extremely important.  Babies aren’t just putting on weight. They are undergoing important development of the brain, lungs and other vital organs. “The March of Dimes commends Community Hospital-Fairfax for being a champion for babies with their quality improvement effort.”

A two year partnership between the March of Dimes Missouri Chapter and the Missouri Hospital Association (MHA) is achieving its goal of significantly reducing early elective deliveries (EEDs) by the end of 2014. Of the 46 participating birthing hospitals in Missouri, 78 percent report a rate of five percent or less and 61 percent have had no EEDs in the last six months of reported data.    

Additionally, of the 46 hospitals, 87 percent now have a “hard stop” policy in place which establishes strict medical guidelines for when a physician may schedule a delivery.  Only 35 percent had a hard stop policy in place before the MHA/March of Dimes collaboration began. The policy prohibits doctors from scheduling a delivery – either by induction or cesarean section – before the baby is at a confirmed 39 weeks gestation.  The policy applies to non-medically indicated (elective) deliveries only.

According to Herb Kuhn, president and CEO of the Missouri Hospital Association, "In the best interests of the health of mothers and infants, Missouri's hospitals have been working to reduce early elective deliveries. This is one of many quality improvements they are aggressively pursuing to achieve the Triple Aim of better care, better health and lower costs.”  More information is available at

The March of Dimes has been providing support to MHA hospitals in the form of its Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait program which includes educational materials and other resources.  Susan Bushnell, State Director of the March of Dimes Missouri Chapter, said, “This data provides hard evidence that more Missouri babies are being born full term, giving them the healthiest possible start to life.  We hope that all of Missouri’s birthing hospitals will embrace this initiative and eliminate early elective deliveries.”