Lakeland, FL – Lakeland Regional Health is pleased to be one of 20 healthcare organizations recognized by the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Florida Department of Health for achieving the ambitious National Healthy People 2020 objective to reduce cesarean section deliveries for first-time mothers with low-risk pregnancies. The goal is to lower the rate to 23.9%.
“Providing the women and children of our community with the best outcomes and safest care is a job we take very seriously, most notably with the recent opening of our Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children,” said Timothy J. Regan, MD, Lakeland Regional Health Chief Medical Officer and Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center President. “Our physicians, nurses and Labor & Delivery team members work hard to implement and maintain the highest, evidence-based standards for the women in our care. Lakeland Regional Health is proud to be at the forefront of uplifting the standards of obstetrical care.”
The program is referred to as Florida’s Award for Safely Reducing Primary C-Sections. The Florida Department of Health and Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration began Healthy People 2020 to educate health systems, providers and patients about the serious risks that cesarean sections can pose to mothers and babies. Florida has one of the highest rates of low-risk cesarean births in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lakeland Regional Health’s C-section rate for low-risk, first-time mothers is 14.9%.
“Your team’s exceptional efforts to provide evidence-based maternal and infant healthcare practices demonstrate your commitment to improving health outcomes for Florida mothers and infants and contributes to our state health improvement plan goal to prevent pregnancy-related mortality,” wrote Celeste Philip, MD, MPH, Florida’s Surgeon General and Secretary of the Florida Department of Health. “Your dedication to promote and improve the health of mothers and infants sets a high example for other delivery hospitals in Florida.”
According to AHCA, C-sections can:
- Cause significant and sometimes permanent complications, disability or even death
- Result in longer hospital stays in neonatal intensive care units for babies
- Increase the chance for respiratory infections for babies
- Increase the chance a woman will have a C-section for subsequent births
According to the World Health Organization, cesarean sections are effective in saving maternal and infant lives, but only when they are required for medically indicated reasons. Studies do not show that cesarean delivery benefits women or infants who do not require the procedure.
Approximately 3,000 babies are born each year at Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center. The State-of-the-Art Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children includes:
- The Center for Fetal Care, providing expertly trained maternal-fetal medicine specialists and sonographers as well as genetic counseling.
- Polk County’s only Level III neonatal intensive care unit, allowing very tiny and very ill babies to be cared for close to home.
- Dynamic Labor & Delivery and Mother & Baby units focused on a mother’s and baby’s health and safety through leading-edge, evidence-based techniques and care.
About Lakeland Regional Health
Not-for-profit Lakeland Regional Health reaches beyond its hospital walls to promote wellness, education and discovery in new places and new ways, providing a wide range of inpatient and outpatient healthcare services at its Medical Center, Hollis Cancer Center and ambulatory care locations. Lakeland Regional Health earned Most Wired Advanced and Most Wired status four times since 2013 from the American Hospital Association and has earned workplace awards from Forbes, Gallup and Becker’s Hospital Review. Its 864-bed comprehensive tertiary referral hospital, Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center, operates the Jack and Tina Harrell Family Institute for Advanced Cardiovascular Medicine; a Level II Trauma Center; the Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children, which includes a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; and the Bannasch Institute for Advanced Rehabilitation Medicine.