Oakland, Calif.— Oct. 24, 2018 — Alameda Health System (AHS), the Bay Area’s leading public health system, announced today that Smart Care California recognized AHS-Highland Hospital on the C-section Honor Roll as a facility that has successfully reduced the number of cesarean births.

After recognizing an unhealthy trend in increased unnecessary C-sections, the Department of Health and Human Services set a Healthy People 2020 target for reducing the number of C-section births nationwide to 23.9 percent for low-risk, first-birth deliveries; Smart Care California, a public-private partnership working to promote safe, affordable health care in California, followed suit.

The goal is to encourage more hospitals and clinicians to provide only medically necessary low-risk, first-birth C-sections and celebrates those hospitals who have met or surpassed the target.

“We are proud to be on the C-section honor roll three years in a row, reducing disparities in maternal health is one of our top priorities,” said Dr. Sophie Shabel, interim chair, department of obstetrics and gynecology, Highland Hospital. “Being a World Health Organization designated Baby Friendly Hospital, offering CenteringPregnancy group prenatal care, and ensuring we adhere to best practices around cesarean deliveries are some of the many interventions we have in place to ensure that our Moms and babies get the best care possible.”

Complications from unnecessary C-sections include higher rates of maternal death, hemorrhage, infections and blood clots. For babies, problems can include higher rates of infection, respiratory complications, and neonatal intensive care unit stays.

Terry Lightfoot