Thursday, July 31, 2014 5:33 PM

Community Regional: Destination for high-risk mothers and babies

Brianna Hafen was 29 weeks into her pregnancy and vacationing five hours from her Valley home when her water broke unexpectedly. Through Community Regional Medical Center’s maternal transport program she was able to return home to receive comprehensive care for both her and her unborn baby.

From her room at Community Regional’s High-Risk Antepartum Unit, Brianna said, “It made all the difference in the world to be able to come back to the Valley and receive this level of care. With less emotional and financial strain, staying here also means we are close to the Level 3 NICU which takes some stress out of the situation. The staff here has been so polite and accommodating throughout this unexpected event."

Like Brianna, many expectant mothers do not see complications coming or consider the possibility that they or their babies will need critical care during or after the delivery. But when a mother is expected to have her baby early or to have a complicated delivery, local hospitals will often transfer these pregnant patients to Community Regional’s High-Risk Labor and Delivery Unit to receive a higher level of critical care, or so that physicians can more quickly and easily move the baby to the Level 3 NICU just a few floors away after he or she is born.

Supervisor of the Labor and Delivery Unit Lisa Hough, RNC, elaborates, “The Maternal Transport program brings the mothers and babies who need our care most to our facilities. Here in the Valley, we are the hospital that other hospitals turn to with high-risk mothers. Our nurses and physicians are highly skilled and trained to care for the most complex patients.  Everything a mother and baby would need in terms of care in the Valley is right here, and other facilities recognize that.” Heavily depended on by both the community and physicians Valley-wide, our High-Risk Labor and Delivery Unit sees over 1,000 mothers a month with transfers being from a 5-country region. The maternal transport program helps many of these women get here for the help they need.

Maternal Transport Unit Director Kristi Hartway says, “If you are at risk of delivering prematurely or have other pregnancy-related complications that need close monitoring, our High-Risk Labor & Delivery and the High-Risk Antepartum Unit provide a team of perinatologists, neonatologists, obstetric specialists and nursing experts that work together to ensure the best outcome. This collaboration means that you and your baby will receive the best in care in the Central Valley.”

Hartway says that while other local hospitals have programs equipped to care for complicated pregnancies, mothers with impaired health, or babies who need critical care, only Community Regional provides all the highest levels of care in one place so the mother and critically ill baby can stay together through any treatment process they might need.

Reported by Haley Laningham. She can be reached at