The Bellingham Business Journal
PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center added a new service that will give women in labor access to the care they need, as they need it. The childbirth center at PeaceHealth now includes an obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) hospitalist program.
Leasa Lowy, MD, medical director for women’s services at the hospital, said the hospitalist program expands the existing network of support.
“A woman’s obstetrical care will never be delayed,” Lowy said. “This is the kind of care and treatment we all want for our loved ones.”
Hospitalists are physicians who specialize solely in caring for patients who are hospitalized, rather than those in a clinical office setting. OB/GYN hospitalists focus exclusively on providing care for women in labor and delivery. PeaceHealth worked with OB Hospitalist Group, a national physician group specialized in obstetrical care, to set up the program.
“The hospitalist program underscores our commitment to quality care in women’s services,” Lowy said.
The new OB/GYN program includes anesthesiology available around the clock, and Cindy Preston, director of women’s and children’s services, said that ensures women in labor needn’t wait for pain relief. But she stressed that hospitalists would not replace a woman’s own OB/GYN.
“The hospitalists, who are board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology, will be available to supplement care already provided,” Preston said. “Hospitalists care for transfer patients with high-risk pregnancies and provide emergency services for all obstetrics patients, including those with a private physician – until that physician’s arrival.”
Hospitalists also provide an obstetrical safety net for patients with limited access to care, and allow partnership with community health centers, such as SeaMar and Interfaith.