Tuesday, June 2, 2009

PeaceHealth announces July 13 groundbreaking and 103% fundraising goal reached

PeaceHealth hosted a news conference this morning. Two important pieces critical to relocating the Birth Center were announced: (1) groundbreaking will occur on July 13 and (2) the fundraising goal of $750,000 has been reached, in fact 103% of the goal has been raised. Fundraising efforts continue, allowing for features cut from the original proposal to be restored. Coverage: The Register-Guard, KEZI and KLCC.

Following topics include:
  • Friends of the Birth Center’s comments at this morning’s news conference
  • June events honoring the Birth Center
  • Coverage last week

Friends' comments at the news conference
I’d like to begin with words of thanks…
In January, the newly formed Friends of the Birth Center contacted PeaceHealth CEO Mel Pyne about the Birth Center’s behind-schedule relocation to RiverBend. Mr. Pyne responded with an invitation to meet.

At this February meeting, he assured us of his personal commitment to continuing PeaceHealth’s birth center-based midwifery model of care. The other PeaceHealth leaders in the room also made assurances of their commitment for relocation.

Impressive strides in fundraising and progress toward selling the current facility were quickly made. At the May dedication of this uniquely beautiful site, PeaceHealth described Friends of the Birth Center as a valued community partner in the sacred purpose of serving women and children through relocating the Birth Center.

While we remain deeply concerned by the interim plan for Birth Center services during construction, we sincerely appreciate Mr. Pyne’s continued accessibility and responsiveness. Without his leadership, we would not be here today.

Now, I’d like to say a few words about the Birth Center…

Among the finest in the nation, the PeaceHealth Birth Center provides affordable, accessible services with phenomenal outcomes in line with national and international standards for excellence in mother-baby care and breastfeeding. Along with being a well-loved and valued part of our community, the Birth Center is ahead of national efforts to better deploy limited healthcare resources.

Unique for providing a continuum of services before, during and after birth, the Birth Center model of care provides need-blind service and an emphasis on client-provider partnerships, education and prevention. Its emphasis on normalcy and healthfulness yields fewer billable procedures than the medical care model. Families, employers and insurers including public programs funded by taxpayers, appreciate lower costs, especially today. Savings continue postpartum through the Birth Center’s 24-hour breastfeeding consultation service and a weekly well-baby drop-in clinic. This upfront investment means fewer visits to the doctor and missed days at work.

The foundation of Birth Center care is its out-of-hospital setting. This critical feature promotes and protects the non-medical space in which women who use it want to give birth and initiate breastfeeding. Because the Birth Center exists within the healthcare delivery system, many women believe they receive the best of both care models. Consumers describe it as an incomparably valuable and necessary option for establishing family.

I’d like to close with a few words about the interim period…

While Friends of the Birth Center acknowledges and genuinely appreciates the commitment PeaceHealth has made towards the new Birth Center facility, we remain concerned about the interim plan. We are concerned because it results in lost accreditations, cuts staff and reduces services while at the same time increasing costs for families. And, it brings women into a setting for birth and breastfeeding that they do not want.

We have been roundly assured this interim period will not serve as a pretext for keeping the Birth Center inside the hospital. PeaceHealth has also assured us staffing, services and accreditations will be restored once construction is complete in 10 months time.

During this period our organizing principles remain (1) preserving the integrity of the Birth Center model of care and (2) ensuring continuity of care for women currently served. Toward these ends, we appreciate PeaceHealth’s invitation of continued partnership toward developing the very best interim circumstances possible.

Ten months from July 2009 puts us at Mother’s Day 2010 – our greatest hope is to join PeaceHealth for a Mother’s Day grand opening of the new Birth Center where we now stand.

Thank you.

June events honoring the Birth Center
Come to the following events to learn about interim services, support the future Birth Center and celebrate / say goodbye to the current site of the PH Nurse Midwifery Birth Center

Consumer Q&A with PeaceHealth
When: Wednesday, June 10 5-7pm
Where: Auditorium of Sacred Heart Med Center University District at 1255 Hilyard St, Eugene
What: Opportunity for consumers to ask questions about services during the construction

Benefit for Nurse Midwifery Birth Center Facebook invite
When: Sunday, June 14, 1pm to Monday, June 15, 2am
Where: Diablo's Downtown Lounge (959 Pearl Street, Eugene)
What: All day benefit including BBQ, silent auction, bingo and karaoke, on into the evening with local bands and fire dancing by the always fabulous Tribe of Eve! Minors welcome til 9pm...
Cost:$5 suggested donation
Help: If you have items to donate for the silent auction, please contact Annie at annie@badmotivator.net

June 21 Birth Center "Farewell" Party Facebook invite
When: Sunday, June 21, 12pm to 6pm
Current Nurse Midwifery Birth Center (511 E. 12th Avenue, Eugene)
What: Birth Center staff will host an open house to honor all of the families from the beginning of the Birth Center in the 80's to the present day!
Donations from food providers are welcome and greatly appreciated! Please contact Emily at midwifeemily@gmail.com

Coverage last week:
Women unhappy about hospital’s plans to close nurse midwifery center

Interim birth center plan needed

Gap Ahead in Midwife Birthing Services?

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