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Trover Health System’s Center for Women’s Health Receives Kentucky Hospital Association Quality Award

Women’s Center recognized for its work in reducing preterm births, inductions, and c-sections, and improving birth weights

MADISONVILLE, Ky. — The Center for Women’s Health at Trover Health System has been awarded the 2012 Kentucky Hospital Association Quality Award. This award is presented annually to one healthcare facility that demonstrates an organization-wide commitment to highly reliable, exceptional quality, patient-centered care. Drs. Mark Littlehale and Heather Ricketts accepted the award at the KHA Annual Awards Gala in Louisville Thursday evening.

Trover’s KHA award application focused on its work in reducing preterm births, inductions, and c-sections, and improving birth weights. Through evidenced-based changes to its prenatal care model, Trover has made progressive improvements to benefit mothers and babies. Initiatives include:

  • CenteringPregnancy — Beginning in 2006, the Center for Women’s Health introduced the CenteringPregnancy program. As the exclusive provider for Western Kentucky and the first in the state to offer such a program, Centering takes the care out of the exam room and into a group setting of women all due around the same date. Women meet regularly for two-hour group sessions built around pregnancy topics such as nutrition, preparing for labor, common discomforts of pregnancy, and breastfeeding. Research has shown these women and their babies have better outcomes as a result of this type of care. 
  • CenteringPregnancySmiles — Also in 2006, Trover partnered with the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry and the Centering Healthcare Institute to address poor birth outcomes, oral disease, and oral health literacy. CenteringPregnancySmiles provided dental treatment and education to participants. Expectant mothers received a dental exam, cleaning, needed treatment, and follow-up examination later in pregnancy to verify the absence of oral infection.
  • In 2007, Trover was invited to join a national project called “Healthy Babies Are Worth the Wait,” sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Pediatric Institute, the March of Dimes and the Kentucky Department for Public Health. This was a three-year initiative with the goal of preventing prematurity in six regions of the Commonwealth. Participating in the study were three intervention sites, including Trover, and three comparison sites. The goal of HBWW is to change a community’s knowledge, attitudes and behavior regarding preterm birth, its risk factors and strategies to prevent it. The campaign included medical interventions, provider education, screening, public information, data collection and more. 
  • Hospital-based quality review — Trover worked with a third-party organization to conduct a peer-review and implement many of the items suggested in the March of Dimes toolkit “A California Toolkit to Transform Maternity Care: Elimination of Non-medically Indicated (Elective) Deliveries Before 39 Weeks Gestational Age.” Now, all cases prior to 39 weeks are peer-reviewed for medical necessity. Implementation of this process subsequently led to scheduling of elective C-Sections based on the CMQCC guidelines. 
  • Patient-centered care —  A core component of Trover’s Women’s Health service line is a commitment to patient-centered care.  Care is available from both Obstetricians and Certified Nurse-Midwives.  Women who desire a lower-intervention birthing experience receive support and assistance toward their goals.  For example, Trover providers offer and encourage VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) to women who are appropriate candidates.

“Preterm births were occurring at a startling rate in our area. Prematurity is the leading cause of newborn deaths,” said Trover President and CEO E. Berton Whitaker. “Many women don’t realize that scheduling an elective c-section or inducing birth early can cause lifelong disability or impairment such as Cerebral Palsy, developmental delay, impaired vision, and chronic illnesses such as asthma, heart disease and diabetes. It is a community health concern we all must take seriously. The providers at the Women’s Center are committed to helping mothers achieve a full-term pregnancy and the steps they have taken to help achieve that goal is being recognized by this state-wide organization. We’re proud of the recognition we’re proud of the work we’ve done for our mothers and babies. “

Additionally, the important initiatives undertaken at the Center for Women’s Health have resulted in other significant improvements in good health behaviors for mothers and their families, including increased breastfeeding rates, increased awareness on issues such as stress management, depression, oral health, substance abuse, and tobacco cessation.

“The KHA Quality Award recognizes our commitment to doing what’s right,” said the Manager of the Women’s Center LeAnn Todd Langston. “We’ve established a model of empowerment, creating an atmosphere of patient centered care, where a woman becomes an active partner in her care. We remain dedicated to applying cutting-edge, evidence-based medicine as we strive to improve maternal child health. We are excited to demonstrate that you don’t have to be a large academic center to implement innovative approaches and conduct research.  We hope our endeavors will inspire other organizations large and small to be agents of change and improve outcomes for mothers and babies.”

In recent years, the Women’s Center also has won the National Maternal Child Health Epidemiology Awards 2011 Effective Practice Award, the 2011 William J. Gies Award for Outstanding Innovation, and the CenteringPregnancy® Program Best in Practice Honor.

Trover Health System is an integrated health provider serving western Kentucky residents for more than 50 years. With nine locations in six counties, Trover proudly offers 55 services and specialties to meet the needs of Kentuckians close to home. With more than 130 primary care, mid-level and specialist physicians, 500 registered nurses and 1,000 licensed health care professionals, Trover is made up of an experienced team of dedicated staff. Trover provides healthcare solutions with compassion and respect for the uniqueness of every individual. Guided by a values-based culture to consistently deliver clinical and service excellence to our patients, Trover strives for excellent care, every time. For more information, please visit