St. Joseph, Redwood Memorial Hospitals Make State’s C-Section Honor Roll

January 31, 2019 Providence News Team

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.

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