MidState Hospital takes proactive approach to maintain childbirth center

MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Amid news of Milford Hospital shutting down its childbirth center after more than 90 years, Midstate Hospital in Meriden has a number of things going for it.

The hospital is under the umbrella of Hartford HealthCare, but even more significant is its proactive approach to ensure the center’s doors remain open for women about to give birth.

Tiny miracles are the hope of the future, and the birthing center at MidState Hospital is counting on it. Despite a declining state population, the number of babies born at the community hospital is relatively steady, at about 1,000 a year.

“Last year, we were basically flat,” said Kate Sims. “When I say flat, we were within 20-25 and we were 25 up from the year before.”

Sims heads up the birthing center and points to a strong network of OB-GYN’s.

“Each provider here at MidState has built their clientele, so the mothers, then the mother of the mothers, and the mothers keep going back,” she said.

An aggressive marketing plan was also in place, long before the hospital connected with Hartford HealthCare.

“The doctors and the management, we meet,” said Sims. “And the nurses, we meet and we talk about how do we stay connected, what can we provide for our patients, and we do it together.”

Other pluses include private rooms where everything happens: labor, delivery, and post-partum.

Area obstetrician Dr. Drew Metzger, also the hospital’s Director of Surgical Services, brings all his pregnant patients to MidState, crediting the nursing staff.

“Labor and Delivery has always been one of the jewels of this hospital,” said Dr. Metzger. “I wanted a circumstance where I felt my patients were getting close care and a more personal touch than you might find in a teaching circumstance.”

He admits that having Hartford HealthCare gives MidState a big advantage over other community hospitals.

“Complications occur,” said Dr. Metzger. “Some patients have medical issues that require additional care, and they can require specialists that a smaller hospital without the relationships of other larger hospitals would be unable to provide.”

Regular meetings with focus groups, made up of patients, are also an integral part of how the hospital looks at how to better serve the community.

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