2018-01-11 / Community

UP Health System recognized by March of Dimes for efforts

ISHPEMING – UP Health System – Bell has been recognized by the March of Dimes for its work to give babies a healthier start in life. UP Health System – Bell earned the recognition after successfully reducing the number of elective inductions and cesarean deliveries performed before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy to less than one percent (1 percent).

This is a tremendous accomplishment, and one that will give more babies the right start in life, the March of Dimes says.

“We’re proud of our expert team of physicians and nurses who recognized the problem of unnecessary early deliveries in our hospital, and put in place practices and processes to avoid scheduling cesarean sections or inductions before 39 weeks of pregnancy, except when medically necessary,” said Sandra McGovern, CNO. “This achievement is a testament to our strong commitment to making communities healthier.”

As part of LifePoint Health, a leading healthcare company dedicated to Making Communities Healthier®, UP Health System - Bell joins a group of 44 other Life- Point facilities that also reached this milestone.

“The last weeks of pregnancy are important, as babies aren’t just putting on weight; they are undergoing important development of the brain, lungs and other vital organs,” says Paul E. Jarris, MD, MBA, March of Dimes Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. “We commend UP Health System – Bell for being a champion for babies with its quality improvement efforts.”

Studies have shown that babies born even just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants, according to March of Dimes. Although the overall risk of infant death at term is low, the rate of infant death is more than twice as high for infants born at 37 weeks of pregnancy compared to infants born at 40 weeks. Babies who survive an early birth have a higher risk of lifelong health challenges, such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy and learning disabilities.

McGovern says the March of Dimes has been helping to get the word out that “Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait,” and the hospital was eager to help support this important community message.

“This campaign urges women to wait for labor to begin on its own if their pregnancy is healthy, rather than scheduling delivery before 39 weeks,” said McGovern. “We fully support this effort and have been proud to partner in this important work.”

The March of Dimes offers both professional and consumer education materials about the critical importance of a full-term pregnancy to the health and well-being of babies.

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