Monday, January 26, 2009

Open Letter to PeaceHealth Governance and Medical Leadership

January 26, 2009

Re: 2009 PeaceHealth Nurse Midwifery Birth Center relocation to SHMC RiverBend

An Open Letter to PeaceHealth Governance and Medical Leadership:

In anticipation of the January 30th PeaceHealth corporate board meeting in Washington state, we respectfully ask that you honor the tremendous community commitment to and expectation of the PeaceHealth Nurse Midwifery Birth Center’s 2009 relocation adjacent to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend. Your advocacy for the Birth Center’s 2009 relocation is key to the continuation of this cherished provider’s services, including the option for a woman to give birth at a freestanding facility adjacent to SHMC. Lane County Friends of the Birth Center offers the following information and accompanying materials to support your efforts.
  • The Birth Center’s network of supporters includes mothers, fathers, grandparents, children born at the Birth Center, extended family members, friends, doctors, nurses, birth-service professionals and community members. Please review and share the attached petition signatures and comments from the more than 500 individuals who support the Birth Center’s relocation adjacent to SHMC RiverBend.
  • More than 60% of the capital campaign initiated by the Sacred Heart Medical Foundation to ensure the Birth Center’s relocation adjacent to RiverBend has been secured.
  • PeaceHealth has already designated a site, had architectural plans drawn and obtained local land-use approvals. With the Corporate Board’s clearance, building permits can be pulled and the new Birth Center completed by late summer, just a few months off schedule.
  • Over more than 20 years, local families have welcomed more than 5600 babies with Birth Center assistance because its services exemplify PeaceHealth’s vision that individuals “receive safe, evidence-based compassionate care: every time, every touch.” Birth Center midwives, lactation consultants, nurses and support staff embody PeaceHealth’s core values of respect, collaboration, stewardship and social justice.
The Birth Center and a woman's option to give birth there are at a critical juncture – please provide the necessary leadership for its 2009 relocation adjacent to SHMC RiverBend. If Lane County Friends of the Birth Center can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to be in touch with me via email at or by phone at (---) --- - ----.


Katharine V. Gallagher
Member of the Steering Committee

Encl: Petition and signatures, Excellence in Care, Reasons Women Choose to Give Birth at the Birth Center

cc: Lane County Friends of the Birth Center blog (

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