U-M Health receives U.S. News & World Report’s highest award for maternity care

University of Michigan Health Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital recognized for exceptional performance for delivering babies in uncomplicated pregnancies

4:32 AM

Author | Beata Mostafavi

Aerial view of C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital

ANN ARBOR, Mich. –  University of Michigan Health Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital has again been recognized as a top hospital in the country for maternity care by U.S. News & World Report.

For the third year in a row since maternity care has been evaluated, U-M Health was designated a high performing medical center for delivering babies in uncomplicated pregnancies, U.S. News’ highest award for the specialty.

The 2023-2024 rating reflects exceptional performance on a range of quality measures, such as rates of caesarean sections, newborn complications, exclusive breast milk feeding and early elective delivery in lower-risk pregnancies.

Less than half of the 680 hospitals that submitted maternity data to U.S. News this year earned a high performing rating.

“Our teams recognize that pregnancy and birth and delivery are pivotal experiences in our patients’ lives,” said Luanne Thomas Ewald, M.H.A., FACHE, chief operating officer of University of Michigan Health C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital.

“We have an extraordinary team of obstetricians, family medicine physicians, midwives, nurses and staff who go above and beyond every day to provide compassionate and high-quality care for expectant parents during this journey.” 

Von Voigtlander reports a low caesarean section rate, with 24-27% of first-time, low-risk pregnancies at full term delivered by C-section. Newborn complications in lower risk births are also rarely reported. 

Other factors contributing to the maternity designation include episiotomy rates, vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) rates, whether hospitals meet new federal criteria for “birthing-friendly” practices as well as if hospitals tracked and reported their outcomes for patients of different races and ethnicities. 

Von Voigtlander routinely offers to support VBAC and is recognized as birthing-friendly because of participation in a quality improvement collaborative and implementing patient safety practices to improve maternal outcomes.

“Our teams strive to promote an environment that prioritizes inclusive, patient-centered and evidence-based labor and delivery care,” said Dee Fenner, M.D., chair of the Michigan Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The hospital also tracks and reports its race- and ethnicity-specific performance on performance measures for which racial and ethnic disparities may exist.

“Identifying and addressing racial disparities in maternity care is an essential step toward achieving health equity and improving maternal and newborn health outcomes for the diverse communities we serve,” Fenner said.  


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