Home U.S. News & World Report: Four Sentara hospitals in Virginia’s Top 10 for maternity care
Health, Virginia

U.S. News & World Report: Four Sentara hospitals in Virginia’s Top 10 for maternity care

Rebecca Barnabi
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For a second consecutive year, Sentara RMH Medical Center is ranked among the best hospitals in Virginia for maternity care in the
“uncomplicated pregnancy” category, according to the latest U.S. News & World Report survey.

Only 10 Virginia hospitals earned this designation, including four Sentara facilities: Sentara Leigh Hospital in Norfolk, Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Sentara RMH Medical Center in Harrisonburg and Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center in Williamsburg.

The U.S. News Best Hospitals for Maternity Care methodology is based on objective quality measures, such as C-section rates in lower-risk pregnancies, episiotomy rates, newborn complication rates, exclusive breast milk feeding rates, early elective delivery rates, and vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) rates, among other measures.

“It’s a great honor that, for a second year in a row, Sentara RMH Medical Center Family Birthplace has been recognized by US News & World Report as one of the top maternity care providers, not only in the state of Virginia, but also in the nation,” said Sabrina Shiflett, director of patient care services at Sentara RMH. “It’s a great reflection of the high-quality care, safety and service that we provide here at our hospital.”

The Sentara RMH Family Birthplace staff prides themselves on safety, quality of care and service.

“We’re really proud of the work that we do. We focus on the evidence, the science and what’s best for patient outcomes. At Sentara, we dig into research and the best practices around the nation, implementing all of it,” Shiflett said.

Family Birthplace has a large staff with more than 100 team members, including 80 registered nurses. Sentara RMH recently partnered with OB Hospitalist Group to establish a hospital-based OB/GYN program that brings an experienced team of board-certified OB/GYN physicians and certified nurse midwives on-site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“Patients likely come into contact with more than 100 people when they come in to have a baby,” Shiflett said. “It takes the entire team to provide great care.”

Team members include nurses, midwives and medical specialists, including anesthesiologists, pediatricians, neonatologists and hospital-based obstetricians. Patients are also taken care of by multiple departments within the hospital, such as pharmacy, food service
and environmental services.

“Each plays a role and impacts our patients,” Shiflett added.

Maternity patients at Sentara RMH have access to several prenatal classes to prepare them for labor and delivery and postpartum care. The classes also serve as an opportunity to educate families on the low intervention techniques available to them.

“Parents need to consider their options before having a baby. There are so many different choices if you come to have your baby here,” Shiflett said. “We work with moms and dads to create a plan that fits their needs.”

Shiflett points out Family Birthplace scored high in the survey for its above-average breastfeeding practices and low number of delivery complications. The high performing designation from U.S. News & World Report reflects the full complement of care Sentara RMH

“Fifty-seven percent of our patients breastfeed or offer their baby breast milk while they’re here in the hospital. We have very low complication rates for newborns. Also, low C-section rates,” Shiflett added. “So, there’s lots of different factors that go into being bestowed this recognition.”

Sentara RMH Family Birthplace has board-certified providers and state-of-the-art medical facilities available around the clock should the need arise.

“We have operating rooms on our unit and can perform C-sections right here,” said Shiflett. “We have the full range of services based on everyone’s individual preferences.”

U.S. News evaluated data from 680 hospitals. In the 2023-2024 rankings, fewer than 315 hospitals across the country received a “high performing” designation, the highest award a hospital can earn in maternity care.


Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.