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Christina Ruth, RN, BSN, service line coordinator of Maternal Child Health, helps new mom Callie Wyman and baby Kipton at Columbus Community Hospital.

Soon-to-be parents around the area can rest assured knowing they’ll receive top-notch service if they choose to deliver their bundles of joy at Columbus Community Hospital.

Recently, CCH’s Maternal Child Health department was awarded the prestigious Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Blue Center+, which comes after an intense and objective evaluation of its quality of care, overall patient outcomes and treatment expertise. It marks the second-consecutive term the department earned the honor, having applied for and won it back in 2015.

“It’s just confirmation that we’re doing what’s right and best for our patients and that we deliver the highest-quality care for our patients,” Kim Eisenmann, director of CCH’s Maternal Child Health Department, told The Telegram.

The designation is part of Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Blue Distinction Specialty Care Program, which awards hospitals that show expertise in delivering improved patient safety and better health outcomes based on objective measures that were developed with input from the medical community, according to information provided by CCH. The Blue Distinction for maternity care also evaluates hospitals on the percentage of newborns that fall into the category of early elective delivery, which is an ongoing concern in the medical community.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies across the nation have recognized more than 1,000 hospitals as Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care. Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality specialty care in the areas of bariatric surgery, knee and hip replacements, spine surgery and transplants, as well as cancer, cardiac and maternity care, while encouraging health care professionals to improve the care they deliver.

On average, a little more than 600 newborns – 625 – are delivered annually in CCH’s Maternal Child Health Department, according to Eisenmann, who noted she has 30 full-time employees and a handful of PRNs (pro re nata, which loosely translates to "as needed”). Everyone part of the team strives to provide excellent service to all of their patients, Eisenmann stressed.

“Expect to receive quality care,” she said. “We’ve got great nurses with tons and tons of experience in labor care, postpartum, newborn nursery and Level II neonatal intensive care. We always strive to provide the highest-quality care and keep our quality indicators in the means of what’s expected.”

Dr. Nicholas Wulf is an obstetrician and gynecologist for Columbus Women’s Healthcare, 4508 38th St. #260. As part of his role, he delivers babies at CCH regularly. The doctor indicated his excitement over the award.

“We are very excited to be a Designated Blue Distinction, Specialty Center for Maternity Care ...,” he said. “It is great for our providers, staff and facility to be recognized for our expertise in delivering top-notch quality maternity care. It shows that we are putting quality into action by meeting rigorous quality metrics in all phases of our maternity care program and ultimately delivering better care for our patients and the community.

“With maternal/fetal outcomes and maternal morbidity and mortality being a key focus of the health care system today, this award shows that every day we strive to provide excellent care to the patients in our community.”

Matt Lindberg is the managing editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at matt.lindberg@lee.net.

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