Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Results from The Birth Survey offer consumer info on maternity service

The CIMS Transparency in Maternity Care Project: The Birth Survey is the first ever consumer ratings website dedicated solely to providing feedback on obstetricians, midwives, hospitals, birth centers, and home birth services. The consumer reviews include overall ratings and recommendations for birth facilities and care providers, and also a seven-item set of questions on providers’ interpersonal and communication skills, facility intervention rates (select states only), and information on finding good care. A national average of ratings is also displayed to provide comparison with individual ratings. Click here to read CIMS’ press release.

Locally, the PeaceHealth Nurse-Midwifery Birth Center received 13 ratings, the most ratings for a birth services facility. The Birth Center received an average rating of 4.5 stars out of five. One Hundred percent of respondents would recommend the Birth Center to family and friends. View results for The Birth Survey at

Monday, April 20, 2009

Birth Center Status Update - Things are looking good!

On April 10th, Lane County Friends of the Birth Center steering committee members met with Mel Pyne, CEO of PeaceHealth’s Oregon Region. Last week, post-meeting communications continued. We are now able to offer an update. Please feel free to share feedback at

Campaign Update

PeaceHealth continues to progress toward its two conditions for building the new Birth Center. The PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center Foundation has reached 90% of the $750,000 goal and the outlook for the sale of the current facility continues to be positive. Progress made since the beginning of the year reflects an extraordinary degree of energy and creativity on the part of PeaceHealth.

Celebrating Progress
During Mother’s Day weekend, PeaceHealth will host an intimate dedication or blessing at the site of the future Birth Center at RiverBend. A public groundbreaking will be scheduled to coincide with the start of construction, most likely in July. With Mel Pyne and other PeaceHealth leaders, donors, Birth Center staff and the LaneCoFBC steering committee in attendance, the May event is an important precursor to the public groundbreaking.

Interim Planning

As momentum builds for relocation, LaneCoFBC anticipates the possibility of the Birth Center becoming “homeless” at some point during construction. We brought this up during the April 10 meeting. While aware of our preference for a temporary freestanding facility, PeaceHealth views this as unrealistic due to difficulties in meeting the numerous code requirements including fire, safety and ADA.

Should the Birth Center become homeless, PeaceHealth would most likely move its services and staff inside the hospital. LaneCoFBC expressed deep, heartily felt concerns that any moves inside not become pretext for staying inside. We were roundly reassured that this would be a short-term plan necessitated only by construction of the new Birth Center. We were further assured the Birth Center services that families anticipate receiving before, during and after a baby’s arrival would continue. The one exception would be out-of-hospital birth. Once the new Birth Center is ready, all services will move to the new facility.
LaneCoFBC asked to participate in the interim planning process and appreciates the positive manner in which we have been welcomed. Following are two items we hope to see included:
  • Designated Birthing Rooms. Designated Birth Center birthing rooms would significantly improve the difficult situation of temporarily interrupting out-of-hospital birth services. This space, through its furnishings and staffing, could come as close as possible to providing the setting and model of care women anticipate receiving at the Birth Center.
  • Informational Meeting. Should it become necessary to execute the interim plan, it would be extremely helpful to present it to the families using the Birth Center. This kind of meeting would let them know what to anticipate as they plan for a baby’s arrival.
If you have ideas or concerns, especially if you are currently using Birth Center services, please do not hesitate to share them with LaneCoFBC at!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Recap of April 10 Meeting with Mel Pyne, PeaceHealth CEO

Steering committee members of the Lane County Friends of the Birth Center met with Mel Pyne, PeaceHealth Oregon Region CEO and members of his executive management team on Friday, April 10th. The meeting was productive and positive. Perhaps the best news was learning that fundraising efforts have secured 90% of the total $750,000 goal. PeaceHealth is confident of reaching 100%. A decision has not been made about a Mother’s Day groundbreaking.

Members of the steering committee feel good about the direction of the campaign and the positive manner in which our desire to collaborate on the Birth Center’s relocation to RiverBend has been received.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

April Newsletter

Birth Center Campaign Update
Mother’s Day Groundbreaking
PeaceHealth is within reach of meeting its two conditions for building the new Birth Center in time for a Mother’s Day groundbreaking. The conditions are completion of fundraising and sale of the current building.
  • More than 87% of the $750,000 fundraising goal has been reached.
  • The current building is listed and enjoys interest.

When recently contacted by Lane County Friends of the Birth Center (LaneCoFBC), Mr. Mel Pyne, CEO of PeaceHealth’s Oregon Region, concurred that a Mother’s Day groundbreaking looks promising. Members of the LaneCoFBC steering committee will meet with Mr. Pyne on Friday, April 10th. Stay tuned.

WineStyles Birth Center Benefit
PeaceHealth’s Foundation hosted two successful benefit receptions for the Birth Center in March. Birth Center families, friends and supporters especially enjoyed seeing the midwives and staff in attendance. Many thanks to the Foundation’s Rueben Mayes, Matt Favreault and Linda Starr!


Do you know community leaders with whom Lane County Friends of the Birth Center should be in touch? Please contact with suggested introductions.

Because local leaders having varying degrees of familiarity with the Birth Center, LaneCoFBC seeks to have them understand the Birth Center’s key public health role as a cost effective, evidence-based and accessible model for care. In addition to offering a much-in demand form of maternity care, its services are critical to Lane County’s ongoing efforts to lower the local infant mortality rate – above the national average and Oregon’s highest.

Recent Blog Entries

Local Events & Good News

Breastfeeding Presentation: Encouraging Words are Not Enough
Sunday, April 19 from 2 to 4pm
If you read The Atlantic Monthly’s recent piece “The Case Against Breastfeeding,” you won’t want to miss this advance preview of a presentation for the upcoming 2009 Healthy Start Statewide Training conferences. Join Lane County Friends of the Birth Center to learn about and discuss the following breastfeeding-related issues:
  • Preventable problems influencing earlier-than-planned weaning
  • Contributing factors and potential solutions
  • CDC recommendations for evidence based breastfeeding care
  • Baby Friendly, a gold-standard designation from UNICEF and the World Health Organization
  • How the Birth Center’s Baby Friendly practices effectively support women

Debbie Jensen, RNC, IBCLC
Desiree Nelson, RN, IBCLC.

Sacred Heart at RiverBend, Conference Room C/D
From the main hospital lobby, take stairs up to the second floor; go left at stairs, then left along the balcony. Conference Room C/D is at end of this hall.

Follow up questions:
Desiree at

Lane County’s First Annual Healthy Babies Award
The Public Health Department’s Healthy Babies, Healthy Communities Initiative has established the Healthy Babies Award. This award will be given annually to recognize efforts in Lane County that help reduce fetal-infant mortality and increase infant health in our community. Any agency, organization, medical professional or individual from Lane County is eligible. Nominations are due no later than April 17, 2009. Click here for nomination information, including access to the form. 

Oregon Breastfeeding Coalition

Announcing the launch of the Breastfeeding Coalition of Oregon website:

African Birth Collective’s Red Tent Event

April 19 from 10am to 5pm
EWEB Conference Room, 500 E. 4th Avenue

Suggested donation: $10 to 15
  • Silent Auction. Gift Certificates and artwork for local artists
  • Slideshow about African Birth Collective’s work in Africa
  • Red Tent Story Sharing of birth and transformation to be documented for the BOLDACTION.ORG oral history library
You are also invited to donate any of the following items for "Mama Baby Packs" going to clinics in Senegal:
Receiving blankets

Follow up questions:
Kaya Skye at 541.951.9995

Support the Birth Center:
Watch the Birth Center Tribute video - more than 500 people have viewed it online so far!

Join the more than 850 people who have signed our online petition

Make a contribution to the Birth Center campaign

Find us on Facebook

Join our email distribution list – send an email to

Thank you!

April is Cesarean Awareness Month

Observers of Cesarean Awareness Month seek to shed light on the impact of cesarean surgery on mothers, babies, and families worldwide. Used appropriately, cesarean section can be a lifesaving surgery. US rates, however, are at least 31.8%, more than double the 15% maximum recommended by the World Health Organization and double the rates in 1996.

To learn more about cesarean awareness, support, and education:
• Visit the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) website

Additionally, following are two interesting pieces exploring implications for the skyrocketing rates of cesarean birth:

Sarasota Memorial can help reduce high C-section rates

Need for transparency increases as Cesarean section rates rise