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Published on December 02, 2014

March of Dimes Recognizes KishHealth System’s Hospitals for 39 Weeks Initiative

December 02, 2014

Every baby is worth the wait!KishHealth System’s Kishwaukee and Valley West Hospitals have been recognized for reducing the number of elective inductions and cesarean deliveries performed before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy. The March of Dimes said this will give more babies a healthy start in life. Babies delivered before full-term face an increased risk of serious health problems and death in their first year of life.

This achievement has been recognized with two banners from the March of Dimes, the Illinois Hospital Association and the Illinois Perinatal Quality Collaborative honoring the hospitals indicating their commitment to improving the quality of care for moms and babies. Hospitals receiving this honor have shown evidence of at least six months’ worth of early elective deliveries rates that fall below five percent and a hospital policy to avoid scheduling non-medically necessary deliveries before 39 weeks of pregnancy. KishHealth System’s hospitals are two of the thirty-five hospitals in the state of Illinois that have been recognized.

Babies born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants. Recent research by the March of Dimes, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found that the risk of death more than doubles for infants born at 37 weeks of pregnancy when compared to babies born at 40 weeks, for all races and ethnicities.

This recognition is part of the team driven, best practice that has been outlined at both Kishwaukee and Valley West Hospitals. Tami Johnson, clinical obstetrics nurse leader at Kishwaukee Hospital stated, “The hospital, childbirth educators, physicians, and nursing staff are focused on reducing non-medically indicated elective inductions and cesarean sections. We used evidenced based research to guide us in our decision making, which has improved our practices and ultimately improved the health of our newborns. Sometimes it is hard for moms to wait for labor to start on its own, but waiting until at least 39 weeks gives the baby’s brain and body all the time they need to grow.” Melissa Hilt, clinical obstetrics nurse leader at Valley West Hospital, credits this recognition to the entire maternity team. “We are extremely proud of our physicians, nurses and supportive staffs who help maintain such high quality standards of service and safety to our patients,” says Hilt.

For more information about KishHealth System’s Maternity Suites departments in DeKalb or Sandwich please visit

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