Long Island hospitals statistically have the highest rate of Cesarean sections in the nation at around 42 percent, compared with the national average of 33 percent. East Meadow’s (NUMC), however, has the lowest C-section rate of any hospital in the region at 26 percent.
An anomaly? No, because this encouraging statistic is one of several outstanding benchmarks in which NUMC’s obstetrics and gynecology have outpaced other hospitals. “We have done some amazing things here in the four years I’ve been here,” said , Chairman of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
For a perceived “community” or “county” hospital, a facility that often serves the indigent and those with language barriers and inadequate or no insurance, NUMC is a guiding light. “Our mission is to take care of anyone – all patients,” said Dr. Vinette Greenland, director of obstetrics.
NUMC’s OB-Gyn department is good and efficient, and about to get bigger and better. A $4.1 million cosmetic renovation of the maternity unit, which begins in August, will include eight new labor/delivery/recovery and post-partum rooms. All 27,000 square feet will be renovated with an upgrade to floors, lighting, all new furniture, computers and Wi-Fi.
The new look will only add to what today is a department that offers a complete array of services including ultrasound, a non-stress testing lab, and Level II sonograms. Subspecialists in high-risk obstetrics are on call for immediate consultation.
NUMC’s secure labor and delivery area includes 10 home-like birthing rooms, as well as the only hospital-based suite with a water-birthing tub on Long Island. Its Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is staffed with specialists in neonatology, pediatric cardiology and pediatric surgery ready to intervene when needed.
Therein lies the crux of NUMC’s success: a multidisciplinary approach that is well organized and in tune with its patients on a daily basis. Under Dr. Hsu’s guidance, every birth, every procedure is scrutinized to ensure they are in compliance. Every Tuesday, the staff, including residents, faculty and doctors from other departments, convenes to go over preparation, patient care and best practices.
“The luxury of this situation is that we have our faculty, our professionals on staff who specialize in high-risk pregnancies,” said Sonia Berrios Villanueva, administrator, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
So exemplary is the care at NUMC’s NuHealth System, as it is known, that it recently received a $66,750 Community Grant Award by the March of Dimes, New York State Chapter, to implement the “Centering Pregnancy at NuHealth program.” The goal of the one-year grant is to improve birth outcomes and patient satisfaction. It was an honor for NUMC to receive this grant, Hsu said.
“What are we about it?” he said. “Number one it is quality; number two we have a comfortable new maternity unit coming; number three we are unique in water births. We have a lot going on and but we are all about taking care of our patients.”