CHARLOTTE – Two Advocate Health hospitals have been recognized for their efforts in supporting Black maternal health by U.S. News & World Report for Black Maternal Health Week 2024. Atrium Health Pineville in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Aurora Medical Center – Grafton in Grafton, Wisconsin, are two of 26 hospitals nationwide identified by U.S. News for achieving excellent outcomes for cesarean section and unexpected newborn complications among Black patients.

U.S. News identified hospitals that were rated “high performing” in U.S. News’ Best Hospitals for Maternity Care, served at least 20 Black patients per year and had newborn complication rates of less than 2.62% and c-section rates of less than 23.9% (among hospitals providing a higher level of care) or 23.6% (among hospitals not providing a higher level of care) among Black patients.

“At Advocate Health, our commitment to advancing health equity hinges on prioritizing equity in maternal care,” said Kinneil Coltman, executive vice president and chief community and social impact officer for Advocate Health. “We’re dedicated to dismantling disparities, ensuring every woman receives the quality care and support she deserves during birth and well beyond. Not only are we reducing preventable deaths, but we are on a mission to safeguard every mother’s right to a safe birthing experience.”

In the Southeast, Atrium Health is addressing Black maternal health disparities and mortality with an intentional recruitment of a more diverse residency class. In addition, last year Atrium Health expanded its mobile services and fleet of mobile medical units to serve its communities in need. The initiative – known as Atrium Health Women’s Care Drive to Thrive – is one of the nation’s first mobile units dedicated solely dedicated to bringing OB-GYN care into underserved communities. Its goals include decreasing maternal mortality rates and unintended pregnancies.

“Our commitment to quality women’s health care – especially in our underserved communities – is an ever-expanding mission,” said Dr. Katie Borders, senior medical director for the women’s care service line, Southeast region, Atrium Health. “We are constantly striving to develop the best comprehensive women’s health program focused on equitable care for women at all life stages.”

Across sites of care in Illinois and Wisconsin, Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care are making huge strides in safely closing the gap in c-section rates between Black and white patients, closing the gap more than 30% over the last two years. All physicians and nurses participate in the Alliance for Maternal Health, a quality improvement initiative that shares maternal health best practices across the country. Aurora Grafton was named a top 10 hospital in the nation for overall maternity care by U.S. News this past December.

“This national recognition reaffirms the clinical excellence patients have come to expect from us,” said Dr. Ann Windsor, vice president of the women’s health service line at Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. “It wouldn’t be possible without our dedicated team of OB-GYN physicians and nurses who provide high quality, individualized care to all their patients.”

Last year, 32 Advocate Health hospitals earned recognition on U.S. News & World Report’s 2023-24 “Best Hospitals” list – 30 adult hospitals plus Advocate Children’s Hospital, in Chicago, and Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital, in Charlotte. In addition, 15 Advocate Health hospitals were recognized by U.S. News & World Report in its annual recognition for “Best Hospitals for Maternity Care.” [source]