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VCU Health hospitals recognized by U.S. News & World Report for performance in maternity care

Rebecca Barnabi
pregnant woman
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U.S. News & World Report has recognized VCU Medical Center and VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital (CMH) as high performing in maternity care.

The VCU Health hospitals are among the “Best Hospitals for Maternity” in the United States.

The national publication evaluated 680 hospitals from across the country that provide labor and delivery services. Fewer than half — 46 percent — of all hospitals that offer maternity care and participated in the survey received a “High Performing” designation. Of the 23 hospitals in Virginia on the list, VCU Medical Center is the only Richmond-area hospital.

“This a testament to the commitment and dedication of our outstanding team members,” VCU Medical Center President Michael Roussos said. “Families have so many things to consider when they choose a hospital and care team to bring a new life into this world and this is proof that our team members continue to be trusted members of the community, providing the highest-quality care to our patients.”

For recognition on the list, hospitals had to excel on multiple quality metrics that matter to expectant families, including complications rate, C-section rate, support for breastfeeding and vaginal births after a C-section.

“We are pleased that VCU Medical Center and VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital have again been recognized for our high-quality and safe care,” Dr. David Chelmow, chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, said.  “Our team incorporates best practices to give our patients both the best outcomes and the birth experience they want. Our clinicians range from certified nurse-midwives who can assist you with a natural, low intervention birth to high-risk doctors who can help you with a complicated or high-risk pregnancy.”

U.S. News also named CMH as a 2024 “Maternity Care Access Hospital,” an inaugural designation only awarded to 73 hospitals across the nation. The essential hospitals provide quality care to expectant parents who wouldn’t otherwise have access to maternity care and serve communities that would otherwise be maternity care deserts.

“I am so proud of our team for leaning in to fill the gap in care our rural area experienced this year,” CMH President Sheldon Barr said. “Our team delivers personal care to each family that delivers here and these designations prove our attention to quality.”

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have designated both hospitals as “Birthing Friendly,” on their new Care Compare tool online. CMS created the new designation to identify hospitals and health systems that participate in a statewide or national perinatal quality improvement collaborative program and that implement evidence-based care to improve maternal health.

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.