Valley Baptist recognized by State Health Services for Quality Maternity Care

Fanny Cano bonds with her newborn in one of Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville's recently renovated maternity suites. Courtesy photo

While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has upended normal life in 2020, Valley Baptist Health System recently received recognition for its efforts to provide safe care for expectant and delivering mothers throughout the Rio Grande Valley.

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) honored both Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville and Valley Baptist Medical Center-Harlingen for their commitment to the TexasAIM Plus program, a partnership with state health services,the Texas Hospital Association, and 219 hospitals across the state to reduce preventable mortality and morbidity in maternity patients.

“On behalf of the Texas Department of State Health Services, I thank you for your invaluable participation in TexasAIM Plus,” wrote Dr. John Hellerstedt, DSHS commissioner, in a letter to both hospitals. “It is because of your commitment to maternal health and safety that we become closer to reducing maternal mortality and morbidity in Texas.”

According to the Texas Hospital Association, the goal of the TexasAIM is to work to reduce incidents of obstetric hemorrhage, improve obstetric care for women with opioid use disorder, and reduce severe hypertension in pregnancy. Through TexasAIM Plus, participating hospitals have “access to individualized technical assistance, facilitated learning, sharing, networking, access to resources, and guided support from experts in maternity safety and quality improvement,” according to information from the Texas Hospital Association.

Director of Women’s Services : Labor and Delivery / OBOR / Mother-Baby

Miriam Longoria, director of women’s services, labor & delivery, mother-baby, and the Obstetrical Operating Room at Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville, said Valley Baptist’s participation in the TexasAIM Plus program should help local expectant mothers rest at east knowing both hospitals are committed to providing safe and effective maternity care.

“The TexasAIM program focuses on standardizing care in order to decrease maternal morbidity and mortality as it is related to preventable deaths. We are saving lives with the knowledge and collaboration we gain from participation,” she said.“This initiative impacts everyone.  When you, or someone you love, comes to deliver their baby at Valley Baptist in Brownsville, you can rest assured the staff is ready to recognize risks factors associated with maternal complications, and also to act swiftly and efficiently to decrease adverse outcomes. We do all of this with a focus on holistic and family-centered care.”

Isaura Figueroa, clinical director of labor and delivery &Valley Baptist-Harlingen’s Obstetrical Emergency Department, said that focusing on best practices related to safety is key to providing high-quality care for the community’s expectant mothers.

“Being a Plus participant for TexasAIM has helped us establish best practice safety bundles for our obstetrical population, including obstetrical hemorrhages, COVID-19 positive and high blood pressure patients,” she said.“This was completed in collaborating with other Texas hospitals and helps decrease maternal morbidity and mortality by incorporating the 4 Rs; readiness, recognition, response, and reporting for every obstetrical patient in every situation. The Valley has a high incidence of diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiac disease, so this will definitely make a difference for our community.”

For more information on the TexasAIM Plus program, visit https://www.dshs.texas.gov/mch/TexasAIM.aspx, and for more information on maternity services at Valley Baptist Health System, visit https://www.valleybaptist.net/services/obstetrics.