Lakeland One of 11 Michigan Hospitals Awarded for Maternity Care
May 15, 2019 Share

(ST. JOSEPH) – The Economic Alliance of Michigan (EAM) recently awarded Lakeland Medical Center in St. Joseph with the Maternity Care Excellence Award for demonstrated excellence and improvement in maternity care and delivery outcomes. The award is part of EAM’s Maternity Care Project. Created in 2018, the project goals are to reduce the rate of unnecessary C-sections in the state, decrease infant mortality and reduce elective early deliveries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Michigan had the 13th highest infant mortality rate in the country in 2017.

For the award, hospitals were evaluated in four areas: cesarean rates (≤ 29.3% of low-risk deliveries), episiotomy rates (≤ 5% of deliveries), elective early delivery rates (≤ 5% of deliveries), and maternity care processes (90% or greater). To be awarded the Excellence Award, hospitals need to fully meet the standard in all four areas in the same calendar year.

Lakeland Hospital Niles was also awarded the 2019 Maternity Care Improvement for demonstrated decreases in cesarean rates, episiotomy, and elective early delivery over a two-year period. The facility was one of only two in the state to decrease unnecessary cesarean rates by ten percent or more (15.6 percent).

“We are proud to be one of only 11 hospitals in Michigan, along with three other Spectrum Health facilities, recognized with this honor. said Jann Totzke, Executive Director, Women’s Health Services, Spectrum Health Lakeland. “With 1,642 babies born at Lakeland last fiscal year, the safety of both mothers and babies is always our top priority. Over the years we have placed a large focus on driving down the rate of unnecessary C-sections whenever possible. Like other types of major surgery, C-sections carry risks for both mothers and babies and may result in potentially serious complications in subsequent pregnancies.”

“On behalf of the EAM and our members, I applaud the efforts of this year’s recipients and ask the birth centers in the state who do not report outcomes to The Leapfrog Group to step-up to the plate and be more transparent by participating in the annual survey,” said Bret Jackson, president of EAM.

The data is from The Leapfrog Group, a Washington, D.C. based organization aiming to improve health care quality and safety for consumers and purchasers. For more information, or to compare birth centers, go to

Photo caption: Left, Bret Jackson, President of EAM; Right, Loren B. Hamel, MD, President, Spectrum Health Lakeland

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