(EFFINGHAM, IL) - In an effort to help prospective parents find hospitals that deliver quality, affordable maternity care, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) announced that HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital was designated a Blue Distinction® Center+ for Maternity Care, a designation under the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.
Nearly four million babies are born in the U.S. annually, making childbirth the most common cause of hospitalization. The Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care program evaluates hospitals on several quality measures, including the percentage of newborns that fall into the category of early elective delivery, an ongoing concern in the medical community. Compared with babies born 39 weeks or later, early term infants face higher risks of infant death and respiratory ailments such as respiratory distress syndrome, pneumonia, and respiratory failure, among other conditions. These babies also have a higher rate of admission to Neonatal Intensive Care Units.
In addition, hospitals that receive a Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care designation agreed to meet requirements that align with principles that support evidence-based practices of care, as well as having initiated programs to promote successful breastfeeding, as described in the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative by Baby-Friendly USA or the Mother-Friendly Hospital program by the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) through its “Ten Steps of Mother-Friendly Care.” The program also evaluates hospitals on overall patient satisfaction, including a willingness to recommend the hospital to others. Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care also meet requirements for cost efficiency.
“HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital is dedicated to serving moms and babies in our region with high-quality, compassionate care and we are pleased to receive this special designation from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois’ for our efforts,” said Bobbi Kinkelaar, RN, Clinical Director of Nursing at St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital. “This is just another way that we are demonstrating our Promise to serve our patients and their families with Respect, Care, Competence and Joy, so that they have an exceptional delivery experience.”
This special distinction recognizes HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital’s outstanding nursing staff, as well as our physician partners who provide obstetrical care:
Dr. Michelle Braddy
Dr. Michael Covlin
Dr. Jennifer Dust
Dr. Robb Frost
Dr. Kelly Haller
Dr. Dawn McDaid
Dr. Mildred Nelson
Dr. Charles Runde
Dr. Michael Schifano
Dr. David Walters
Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality providers for their specialty care needs in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacements, spine surgery and transplants. Research shows that, compared to other facilities, those designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients. On average, Blue Distinction Centers+ are also 20 percent more cost-efficient than non-Blue Distinction Center+ designated health care facilities.
HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital is part of Hospital Sisters Health System’s Southern Illinois Division which also includes HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville, HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese, HSHS Holy Family Hospital in Greenville, and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Highland. Both St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese have also been designated Blue Distinction Centers+ for quality cost effective maternity services.
For more information about the program and for a complete listing of the designated facilities, please visit http://www.bcbs.com/why-bcbs/blue-distinction/bdcenters.html.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL)
With 8.1 million members, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) is the largest health insurance company in Illinois.  Begun in 1936, BCBSIL remains member owned rather than publicly traded and is committed to promoting the health and wellness of its members and it communities, fostering greater access to care, and working to lower the overall cost of care while improving health care quality and patient outcomes.

Media Contact

Brad Ochiltree

Manager, Marketing & Communications
HSHS Illinois
Office: (217) 464-1161

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