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SMH-Sarasota ranked among top maternity hospitals, according to US News & World Report

The hospital received high marks in all areas evaluated, and was the only hospital in the region to make the list.

SARASOTA, Fla. — Sarasota Memorial Hospital – Sarasota Campus earned the highest possible award for maternity care in U.S. News & World Report's first "Best Hospitals for Maternity."

To make the list, hospitals had to demonstrate superior performance on five quality metrics that matter to expectant families.

Those metrics included newborn complication rates, C-section rates in low-risk women, the number of births scheduled too early in pregnancy, options for vaginal births after cesarean, and how hospitals supported mother-baby bonding and breastfeeding. 

The hospital received high marks in all areas evaluated, and was the only hospital in the region to make the list. Fewer than 10 percent of the more than 2,700 hospitals which deliver babies received high enough marks across the board to be recognized in the national "High Performing" list for 2021-2022.  

"All families deserve to be informed on how hospitals perform on key indicators of quality, which is why U.S. News has compiled and published a trove of maternal health data from hospitals across the country," said Ben Harder, managing editor and chief of health analysis at U.S. News & World Report. 

"The hospitals we've recognized as 'High Performing' meet a high standard in caring for patients with uncomplicated pregnancies," Harder said.  

This is the first time U.S. News has published a list of "Best Hospitals for Maternity." Participating hospitals responded to a voluntary survey from the U.S. News health analysis team in the spring of 2021, reflecting clinical and quality data from 2019. 

"The award and recognition are a testament to the care and commitment of our entire team, but what means the most to us is the shared hope and joy of families as we welcome a new baby into this world," said Pam Beitlich, executive director of Women and Children's Services at Sarasota Memorial. 

While the new Best Hospitals maternity ranking focuses on uncomplicated pregnancies, Sarasota Memorial Hospital-Sarasota is a referral center for women on the Suncoast with high-risk pregnancies as well. 

Delivering more than 4,000 babies a year, it is the only hospital in the four-county Suncoast region with a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for premature babies and critically ill newborns, with an experienced team of high-risk pregnancy specialists, neonatologists and obstetrical and pediatric hospitalists available 24/7. 

SMH-Sarasota also was the first hospital in Southwest Florida to earn international recognition as a Baby-Friendly Hospital, part of a World Health Organization initiative that promotes mother-baby bonding, breastfeeding and best practices in maternity care.

Earlier this year, U.S. News awarded SMH "high performer" ratings in 15 other procedures and conditions common among Medicare patients, including heart and stroke care; hip, knee and spine surgery; cancer surgery; and more.

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