In 2021, Newsweek named three New Jersey hospitals to its America’s Best Maternity Hospitals. This year, that number increased to eight.
Altogether, the nationwide list released May 11 includes the top 350 hospitals for maternity care; facilities are then split into either five ribbon hospitals or four ribbon hospitals. In the Garden State, five hospitals nabbed the former distinction, with three garnering the latter. Across the country 161 institutions were designated as five-ribbon, Newsweek said, with 189 named four-ribbon hospitals.
Facilities were evaluated on three data points: a nationwide, online survey that asked hospital managers and maternity health care professionals — OB/GYNs, among others — to recommend leading facilities for maternal care; medical key performance indicator data relevant to the field — for instance, the number of cesarean births performed at a hospital; and patient satisfaction data.
St. Peter’s President and CEO Leslie Hirsch called the recognition a tremendous honor.
“This recognition validates the reputation of our highly skilled physicians, nurses and other health care professionals who provide comprehensive and compassionate care to expectant mothers and their newborns – in our hospital-based, midwifery-led birth center, our labor-delivery-recovery suites and mother-baby units, and our state-designated Regional Perinatal Center and Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for complex and high-risk births,” he said in a statement.
In 2021, five-ribbon designate Saint Peter’s said it delivered more than 5,300 babies.
Added Pam Harmon, nursing director of Saint Peter’s Women and Children’s Division: “Saint Peter’s point of difference is the compassionate care we deliver on par with medical excellence. Our priority is keeping mother and baby safe while making sure individual needs and preferences are acknowledged. That’s the reason we often see multiple generations choosing to give birth at Saint Peter’s.”
RWJUH’s appearance on the list marks its second straight. According to the hospital, it delivers more than 2,500 babies annually with a maternity center team that includes almost 50 board-certified obstetricians, five Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialists, a team of genetic counselors and nationally certified Magnet-recognized nurses.
“Earning this prestigious designation for the second consecutive year is testament to the entire team’s commitment to patient-centered care,” said Suzanne Spernal, vice president, Women’s Services, RWJBarnabas Health. “The team is guided by evidence-based quality metrics that drive performance, help provide exceptional care and enable our patients’ experience to be the best that it can be.”
RWJUH features a Level IV Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and according to the hospital maternity care closely integrated with The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at RWJUH, “working to get families off to a healthy start and keep on growing.”
In 2021, Virtua Health said it saw a 7% increase in the number of babies delivered across its three facilities, including the listed location in Voorhees, for a total that topped 9,000 births. The system also provides health care services at its freestanding midwifery center. Opened in October 2021, according to the provider the facility is the only freestanding birth center in South Jersey.