March of Dimes Honors Woman’s for 39-Week Initiative

October 10, 2014

Woman’s Hospital was recently presented with a banner to recognize its efforts on the 39-Week Initiative, which was established to combat Louisiana’s historically poor birth outcomes. The 39-Week Initiative is a voluntary program in which hospitals agree to establish policies to end the practice of elective, non-medically necessary deliveries prior to 39 weeks gestation. 

Babies’ organs, including the brain and lungs, continue to develop during the last few weeks of gestation. Babies who are born premature have a greater chance of newborn health complications, such as breathing problems, and often must spend time in the NICU receiving costly specialized care. 

Woman’s was one of the first two hospitals in Louisiana that implemented the initiative prior to the Department of Health and Hospitals launching the initiative statewide.

Womans March of Dimes Banner  39 Week Initiative

Pictured, left to right: Patricia Johnson, Woman’s Chief Nursing Officer/Senior Vice President, Patient Care; Frankie Robertson, March of Dimes State Director; Cheri Johnson, Woman’s Vice President, Perinatal Services; Teri Fontenot, Woman’s President and CEO; Makesha Judson, March of Dimes State Director of Program Services and Governmental Affairs; Michelle Smith, Louisiana Hospital Association, Healthcare Engagement Network Project Manager.