Local Hospitals Leading Charge to Reduce Prematurity in Cincinnati

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

At a forum held downtown, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and TriHealth, the partnership of Bethesda North and Good Samaritan hospitals, started a conversation in the community as a launching point for focused efforts to reduce the incidence of premature birth in the Greater Cincinnati area.

The forum, Reducing Prematurity: A Community Effort, featured a keynote presentation by Jimmy Collins, Jr., MD, a neonatologist at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Dr. Collins’ research explores social and medical determinants of prematurity and the role of race as a factor in premature birth and infant mortality.

Approximately 12 in every 100 births in the United States is preterm. “Compared to European countries, where most preterm birth rates are between six and eight percent, this is clearly a problem we must address,” said James Greenberg, MD, neonatologist and associate director of the Perinatal Institute at Cincinnati Children’s.

Medical institutions, including Cincinnati Children’s and TriHealth, are making significant scientific and clinical advances to help lower the incidence of preterm birth in our community, but as Dr. Collins discussed during the forum, preterm birth is a problem much larger than medicine.

Forum participants included more than 170 community health workers, outreach coordinators, insurance providers, community leaders, church leaders and medical professionals. Building on years of experience and knowledge of social situations in each of their own neighborhoods, these people made recommendations for change.

“To truly make an impact on the high rates of preterm birth in our region, we need to work together as a community to get the full picture of socio-demographic and other factors impacting expectant mothers,” said Michael Marcotte, MD, maternal fetal medicine specialist for TriHealth. “TriHealth and Children’s have made a lot of progress through collaboration of expertise; but we, as doctors, only see moms who seek our help. As a community, we need to support them long before they get to the hospital.”

“Our work has only begun. We are confident that the forum will be a launching point for change that will positively impact outcomes for mothers and babies throughout our region,” added Dr. Greenberg.

Individuals in the community who wish to participate in efforts associated with the Prematurity Initiative can contact Jennifer Pavelka via email at Jennifer_Pavelka@trihealth.com, or David Jones via email at David.Jones@cchmc.org.

About Cincinnati Children’s

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is one of 10 children’s hospitals in the United States to make the Honor Roll in U.S. News and World Report’s 2009-10 America’s Best Children’s Hospitals issue. It is #1 ranked for digestive disorders and is also highly ranked for its expertise in respiratory diseases, cancer, neonatal care, heart care, neurosurgery, diabetes, orthopedics, kidney disorders and urology. One of the three largest children’s hospitals in the U.S., Cincinnati Children’s is affiliated with the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and is one of the top two recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health.

President Barack Obama in June 2009 cited Cincinnati Children’s as an “island of excellence” in healthcare. For its achievements in transforming healthcare, Cincinnati Children’s is one of six U.S. hospitals since 2002 to be awarded the American Hospital Association-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize for leadership and innovation in quality, safety and commitment to patient care. The hospital is a national and international referral center for complex cases. Additional information can be found at www.cincinnatichildrens.org.

About TriHealth

TriHealth is the healthcare system that formed as a partnership between Good Samaritan Hospital and Bethesda Hospital, Inc. Bethesda North and Good Samaritan are the anchor hospitals of TriHealth. For 11 of the past 12 years, TriHealth has been ranked as one of the top 100 most highly integrated health networks in the United States by Verispan. Both Good Samaritan and Bethesda North hospitals have been ranked by Thomson Reuters on the list of 100 Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks for Success. Good Samaritan Hospital has been #1 in Ohio for delivering babies for the past three consecutive years, according to the Ohio Department of Health’s Vital Statistics division, and Bethesda North is the only other Greater Cincinnati hospital to consistently make the top-ten list.

Bethesda North is the most established tertiary hospital serving northern Cincinnati. Specialized services include: heart and vascular; digestive health; endoscopy; trauma; minimally invasive and robotic-assisted surgery; maternity services; orthopedic care. Good Samaritan is Cincinnati’s oldest and largest private teaching and specialty healthcare facility. Specialized services include: bariatric and robotic-assisted surgery; orthopedics and rehabilitation; maternity services; Women’s Center; Skin Cancer Center. The TriHealth system also includes an ambulatory network, a research division, physician practices, corporate health, hospice care, a fitness and health pavilion, and other providers working together to improve the health status of the people it serves. For more information about TriHealth, Bethesda North or Good Samaritan, visit online at www.trihealth.com.

Contact Information

Kate Setter, 513-636-1297, katherine.setter@cchmc.org