Saint Joseph Health System (SJHS) was recognized today by the Indiana Hospital Association (IHA), in partnership with Gov. Eric J. Holcomb and State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG, for its commitment to infant and maternal health at the first INspire Hospital of Distinction recognition program.
INspire, funded by the Indiana State Department of Health’s Safety PIN grant, was developed to implement the delivery of best-practice care for Hoosier moms and babies and recognize hospitals for excellence in addressing key drivers of infant and maternal health.
SJHS earned an INspire Hospital of Distinction 2020 recognition based on implementing best practices in five key areas, including infant safe sleep, breastfeeding, tobacco prevention and cessation, perinatal substance use and obstetric hemorrhage.
“Saint Joseph Health System is honored to be recognized by the IHA for our efforts to improve the overall health of infants born in our medical centers,” said Loretta Schmidt, SJHS Chief Nursing Officer. “We are committed to increasing awareness of infant mortality and educating new mothers to provide the safest possible environment they can for their newborn.”
“Indiana’s birthing hospitals are critical partners as we work to drive down infant mortality,” Gov. Holcomb said. “Thanks to their efforts, Indiana’s infant mortality rate has fallen to the lowest level in state recorded history. Together we will continue this important work to save even more lives and give every Hoosier newborn the best opportunity ahead.”
“I am inspired by the work and passion our birthing hospitals bring to make sure all babies born in Indiana have the best start at life,” Box said. “Reducing infant and maternal mortality requires a multi-pronged approach over the course of many years to see impactful change. We’re seeing that change happen, but we can’t stop now. We must continue to adopt best practices so that we can celebrate more first birthdays in Indiana.”
Box noted that among many successes, Indiana has seen a nearly 30-percent drop in Indiana’s black infant mortality rate in just two years.
“Indiana hospitals are grateful for the leadership of Gov. Holcomb and Dr. Box and are thrilled to be a partner in Indiana’s successful effort to reduce infant mortality,” said IHA President Brian Tabor. “We look forward to building on the progress we’ve made and achieving Gov. Holcomb’s goal for Indiana to have the lowest rate of infant mortality in the Midwest by 2024.”
Indiana Hospital Association serves as the professional trade association for more than 170 acute care, critical access, behavioral health and other specialized hospitals in Indiana.