Groups issue joint statement in support of Strong Start campaign
AHA News Now
May 2, 2013
The AHA and six other organizations that support the delivery of maternity care yesterday issued a joint statement of support for the Strong Start Initiative, a national public-private partnership to eliminate non-medically indicated elective deliveries before 39 weeks gestation. The statement encourages all hospitals to have a documented plan or policy to reduce or eliminate early elective deliveries. It also suggests posting the policy to the hospital’s website and voluntarily reporting early elective delivery data to a Hospital Engagement Network. In addition to AHA, signers include the American Academy of Family Physicians; American Academy of Pediatrics; American College of Nurse Midwives; American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses; and March of Dimes. The AHA Board of Trustees last year adopted a formal position supporting policies to eliminate early-term, non-medically necessary deliveries, which research has shown can increase health complications for babies. AHA and its Health Research & Educational Trust affiliate are working with the Strong Start initiative to reduce early elective deliveries at hospitals through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Partnership for Patients campaign.