Awards, Gerber Memorial Hospital, Pennock Hospital, Spectrum Health Lakeland, United Hospital

Eleven Michigan hospitals awarded for excellence and improvement in maternity care

In honor of Mother’s Day, EAM announces Maternity Care Hospital Awards

NOVI, MICHIGAN, May 12, 2019 – In honor of Mother’s Day, The Economic Alliance for Michigan (EAM), a nonprofit group comprised of Michigan’s largest employers and unions, is awarding hospitals throughout Michigan that have demonstrated excellence and improvement in maternity care and delivery outcomes. This is the second year for the awards.

The awards are part of EAM’s Maternity Care Project. Created in 2018, the project goals are to reduce the rate of unnecessary C-sections in the state, decrease infant mortality and reduce elective early deliveries.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Michigan had the 13th highest infant mortality rate in the country in 2017. With higher mortality rates, come higher costs especially for large employers. How can these employers contribute to the reduction of infant mortality in the state? “To start, employers can look at their own data and research which hospitals service their population and compare procedures and the associated costs,” said Bret Jackson, president of EAM. “Other ways are by promoting prenatal care and educating employees and their dependents on the dangers associated with unnecessary c-sections and early elective delivery.”

For the award, hospitals were evaluated in four areas: cesarean rates (≤ 29.3% of low-risk deliveries), episiotomy rates (≤ 5% of deliveries), elective early delivery rates (≤ 5% of deliveries), and maternity care processes (90% or greater). The data is from The Leapfrog Group, a Washington, D.C. based organization aiming to improve health care quality and safety for consumers and purchasers.

To be awarded the Excellence Award, hospitals need to fully meet the standard in all four areas in the same calendar year. Recipients of the 2019 Maternity Care Excellence Award are:

• Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit
• Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, Grand Rapids
• Metro Health, Wyoming
• Munson Medical Center, Traverse City
• Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial, Fremont
• Spectrum Health Lakeland, St. Joseph
• Spectrum Health Pennock Hospital, Hastings
• Spectrum Health United Hospital, Greenville

For the Improvement Award, hospitals must have demonstrated rate decreases in cesarean rates, episiotomy and elective early delivery over a two-year period, and must now fully meet the standard for cesarean delivery rates. Recipients of the 2019 Maternity Care Improvement Award are:

• Munson Grayling Hospital, Grayling
• Spectrum Health Lakeland, Niles

Two hospitals decreased their unnecessary cesarean rates by ten percent or more:

• Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids with a 12.9 percent reduction
• Spectrum Lakeland in Niles with a 15.6 percent reduction

“On behalf of the EAM and our members, I applaud the efforts of this year’s recipients and ask the birth centers in the state who do not report outcomes to The Leapfrog Group to step-up to the plate and be more transparent by participating in the annual survey,” said Jackson.

The Maternity Care Project provides details for each birth center in Michigan, providing a mom-to-be invaluable information in making her choice for hospital maternity care. To compare birth centers, go to


About the Economic Alliance for Michigan
Founded in 1982, the EAM is comprised of businesses and unions working together with one clear objective – continued growth of Michigan’s economy by inspiring job growth and strengthen Michigan’s competitiveness for attracting companies and talent. A main objective of the EAM is bringing attention to lawmakers and the public about the rising health care costs and its effect on the economy. The EAM is the Michigan Regional Leader for The Leapfrog Group. Learn more about the EAM at Follow us on Twitter @EAMOnline.

Stacy Leick
Communications Director
Economic Alliance for Michigan
(989) 600-9928

People are at the heart of everything we do, and the inspiration for our long and continuing legacy of strong community partnerships, philanthropy and transparency. Our award-winning team improves health, inspires hope and saves lives across 13 counties in West Michigan. We bring together 11 hospitals—including Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, with expert care from 350+ pediatric specialists in 70+ specialties and programs—three rehabilitation and nursing centers, 120 outpatient sites and telehealth services. We are proud to work with 4,000 physicians and advanced practice providers, including Spectrum Health Medical Group, one of the largest and most comprehensive multispecialty physician groups in West Michigan.

Andrea Finnigan
Media Relations and Newsroom Web Manager
Office: 616.486.2535
Mobile: 616.293.6050