Lakeland Awarded for Excellence in Maternity Care
May 13, 2020 Share

(NILES) – The Economic Alliance for Michigan (EAM), a nonprofit group comprised of Michigan’s largest employers and unions, has awarded Lakeland Hospital Niles with the 2020 Maternity Care Excellence Award for demonstrated excellence in maternity care and delivery outcomes. The hospital is among only sixteen in the state to have earned the award this year, including four other Spectrum Health hospitals.

The award is part of EAM’s Maternity Care Project. Created in 2018, the project goals are to decrease the state’s infant mortality, reduce the rate of not medically indicated cesarean sections, and be an educational resource for new and expecting parents residing in Michigan. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2018, the State of Michigan recorded a 6.2 per 1,000 live births infant mortality rate, ranking 18th highest in the country. The national average was 5.9 per 1,000 live births.

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. The data is from The Leapfrog Group, a Washington, D.C. based organization aiming to improve healthcare quality and safety for consumers and purchasers.

“The safety of mothers and babies is always our top priority and this award further recognizes the great work of our obstetrics team,” said Karen Zienert, MD, medical director, obstetrical services, Spectrum Health Lakeland. “We know not medically indicated C-sections pose an increased risk of both short-term and long-term complications, especially for the mother. Elective early deliveries can also result in increased risk of neonatal ICU admission for the baby which is why we’ve worked hard to eliminate them for multiple years in a row at Lakeland.”

“When choosing a hospital to give birth at, parents-to-be should look at the facility’s C-section rate to help prevent an unneeded procedure from occurring,” said Bret Jackson, president, EAM. “Recipients of our Hospital Maternity Care Award are chosen based on their dedication to outcome transparency and patient safety. Their efforts help prevent adverse events and contribute to the lowering of health care costs.”

The Maternity Care Project provides details for each birth center in Michigan, providing a mom-to-be invaluable information in making her choice for hospital maternity care. To compare birth centers, go to