John Muir Health Recognized for Reducing C-Sections

Walnut Creek Medical Center named to 2017 California Hospital C-Section Honor Roll

Walnut Creek, Calif. (January 29, 2018) – John Muir Health’s Walnut Creek Medical Center has been recognized by California’s Health and Human Sciences Agency for achieving a low cesarean section delivery rate. The Walnut Creek Medical Center was one of 111 hospitals named to the 2017 Hospital C-Section Honor Roll. These hospitals achieved the Healthy People 2020 target of 23.9 percent or fewer low-risk, first-birth cesarean deliveries.

“This recognition demonstrates our continuing commitment to providing patients with the highest-quality maternity care,” said Dr. Timothy Leach, OBGYN and Medical Director for OBGYN Services at John Muir Health. "We’re continuing our efforts to not only meet the guidelines but to exceed them.”

In response to a rapid rise in unnecessary C-sections across the United States, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services adopted the Healthy People 2020 target of reducing nationwide C-section rates for low risk, first-births to 23.9 percent. While life-saving in some circumstances, unnecessary C-sections can pose serious risks to mothers—higher rates of hemorrhage, transfusions, infection and blood clots—and babies—higher rates of infection, respiratory complications and neonatal intensive care unit stays.

Evidence suggests that a woman’s chance of having a C-section largely depends on where she delivers and the practice pattern of her physician and clinical team. Even for low-risk, first-birth pregnancies, huge variations exist in hospital C-section rates.

“When you have your baby at John Muir Health, the focus is on the safety of the baby and the parents’ needs and preferences. Most first-time parents want a vaginal delivery if at all possible,” said Deb Thorson, Director of Women’s and Children’s Services. “This recognition is a reflection of the hard work and dedication from our team of skilled physicians, nurses and staff to deliver an exceptional birthing experience for families in our community.”

To learn more about John Muir Health’s birthing services, please visit the John Muir Health website.  

About Smart Care California

Smart Care California is a public-private partnership working to promote safe, affordable health care in California. The group currently focuses on three issues: C-sections, opioids and low back pain. Collectively, Smart Care California participants purchase or manage care for more than 16 million Californians—or 40 percent of the state. Smart Care California is co-chaired by the state’s leading health care purchasers: DHCS, which administers MediCal; Covered California, the state’s health insurance marketplace; and CalPERS, which manages pension and health benefits for California’s public employees, retirees, and their families. IHA convenes and coordinates the partnership with funding from the California Health Care Foundation. Learn more about Smart Care California.

About John Muir Health
John Muir Health is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit health care organization east of San Francisco serving patients in Contra Costa, eastern Alameda and southern Solano Counties. It includes a network of more than 1,000 primary care and specialty physicians, nearly 6,000 employees, medical centers in Concord and Walnut Creek, including Contra Costa County’s only trauma center, and a Behavioral Health Center. John Muir Health also has partnerships with Tenet Healthcare/San Ramon Regional Medical Center, UCSF Health and Stanford Children's Health to expand its capabilities, increase access to services and better serve patients. The health system offers a full-range of medical services, including primary care, outpatient and imaging services, and is widely recognized as a leader in many specialties – neurosciences, orthopedic, cancer, cardiovascular, trauma, emergency, pediatrics and high-risk obstetrics care.    

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