Thursday, February 26, 2009

National group recognizes LaneCoFBC's consumer activism

The current issue of AABC News, published by the American Association of Birth Centers, focuses on Lane County Friends of the Birth Center as a model for consumer activism. AABC describes its use of Internet technology as effective in organizing supporters to collectively communicate with health care systems, insurance companies, legislators, media outlets and community members. (For a copy of the article, send a request to

Fueled by the Birth Center's history of outstanding, family-centered outcomes, LaneCoFBC reflects tremendous community support for its relocation adjacent to Sacred Heart Medical Center campus at RiverBend. While its record speaks for itself, it's important to note that local demand corresponds with the national health care reform goals of:
  • providing evidence-based, cost-effective care
  • expanding coverage
  • improving public health outcomes
By a quarter of a century, the Birth Center predates directions in national health care.

PeaceHealth's plans for a Mother's Day groundbreaking ensures this local "crown jewel" will continue charting a course worthy of national emulation.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Peace-Health to Prioritize Mother’s Day Groundbreaking


Peace-Health to Prioritize Mother’s Day Groundbreaking for the New Birth Center at RiverBend 

Eugene, OR – February 13, 2009 – Eight Birth Center moms, members of the Lane County Friends of the Birth Center Steering Committee, met with Mel Pyne, Oregon Region PeaceHealth CEO, and his Executive Team this morning. Pyne invited Lane Co FBC to discuss concerns about delays in the Birth Center’s relocation adjacent to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend. He assured Lane Co FBC of his personal support for the Birth Center, as did members of his Executive Team.

Pyne committed to mobilize the necessary resources for a Mother’s Day groundbreaking. This milestone remains contingent on reaching the remaining fundraising goal of approximately $250,000 and the sale of the current facility. Pyne’s Executive Team identified these goals as achievable. A timeline incorporating the continued involvement of Pyne’s Executive Team will be developed.

Lane Co FBC emphasized the importance of Foundation Director Rueben Mayes’ continuing leadership for the fundraising committee’s success in the next six weeks. The group looks forward to partnering with the SHMC Foundation for an upcoming public fundraiser.

Evidenced by more than 800 online petition signatures, the Birth Center enjoys broad community support. Always steady, the demand for Birth Center care increased 75% last year. Births attended by certified nurse-midwives far exceed the national average – 20% in comparison to 11%. Reasons for this growth include preference for the midwifery model of care, affordability and a desire to be in a home-like setting within the healthcare delivery system.

In an effort to draw attention to and humanize the importance of continued access to Birth Center services, local families collaborated on an online video tribute. It can be viewed on the Lane County Friends of the Birth Center’s blog:

Online Petition:





Katharine Gallagher

Communications Officer

Lane County Friends of the Birth Center

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Birth Center Tribute video

Concerned about delays in the PeaceHealth Nurse-Midwifery Birth Center's relocation adjacent to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend, families created this online video tribute to put a human face on the importance of its relocation and to raise public awareness in our community.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Community member & grandmother encourages PeaceHealth to move Birth Center adjacent to RiverBend

Click here to see 26 more letters encouraging PeaceHealth to relocate the Birth Center adjacent to RiverBend.

February 1, 2009

Dear PeaceHealth Board of Directors and other concerned parties:

I am writing as a long time community member and grandmother to ask that you make it a top priority to move the PeaceHealth Midwifery Birth Center to the RiverBend area.

I had my own children while living in Eugene. That was many years ago. Birth rooms and attention to the birthing environment or emotional needs of the mother/father were just beginning to be considered by hospitals. My deliveries were both hard and took some time for me to sort through, thus affecting me as a new mother.

A year ago my daughter had her first baby. While the stages of the actual delivery paralleled mine, her whole experience was totally different; it was positive. The Birth Center is what made the difference. The staff there is amazing. Throughout the pregnancy, my daughter had easy access to people who were very supportive, available at all times, and, most important, very knowledgeable.

The follow up by the Birth Center after my granddaughter’s birth has been more than I could have ever dreamed of having. I have gone with my daughter and granddaughter for a weekly “check in” at Baby Clinic. You can’t put a price tag on how important that kind of support is for a new mother. In the waiting room are mothers, fathers, and babies of all sizes. The orientation of the Birth Center promotes interaction, support, and community. These are all so critical to the health of both the child and family.

Are you going to make decisions for your hospital just based on numbers and ledgers? What the Birth Center offers is not quantifiable by numbers. And, the Birth Center is not redundant. It has a unique role and fills an important need in the community. If you do not understand that, then you have not taken the time to sit in the waiting room and talk to the parents there, or to talk with a pregnant woman who has used its services.

It is extremely important for the health of new families that the Birth Center moves, as has been planned, to the River Bend location.

Anne McRae