Franciscan Health Michigan City and Hammond maternity care earn Anthem Blue Distinction Center recognition

The Family Birth Centers at Franciscan Health hospitals in Michigan City and Hammond have been recognized by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield with Blue Distinction® Center for Maternity Care designations as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

Blue Distinction Center designations are awarded to doctors and hospitals based on a thorough, objective evaluation of their performance in the areas that matter most—quality care and treatment expertise. Blue Distinction designated providers have a proven history of delivering better quality care than those without these recognitions. Franciscan Health Hammond earned the Blue Distinction Center designation, and Franciscan Health Michigan City earned the Blue Distinction Center+ designation, which additionally demonstrates more affordable care.

“To be a recipient of the Anthem Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care is such an honor. Working to improve maternal outcomes in our county and, ultimately, the state of Indiana is hard work and we take it very seriously here at Franciscan Health Michigan City. You can be sure our health care team wants the very best for the moms in our community and we are working hard every day to meet these high standards,” said Patricia De Stefano, MSN, RNC-OB, Family Birth Center manager. Michigan City’s Family Birth Center is also a National Certified Silver Safe Sleep Leader.

Franciscan Health Hammond Family Birth Center Manager Susan Marcek, MS, BSN, RN, said the honor reflects the hard work to improve outcomes for the new mothers that come to the hospital. “I think we’ve made a lot of strides. We’ve had dedicated clinical nurse specialists to increase staff education and have been recognized as a National Certified Silver Safe Sleep Leader. The State of Indiana also gave us a Gold Award for our work to prevent perinatal hepatitis B infections.”

Last year, Franciscan Health Michigan City was recognized as an “INspire Hospital of Distinction,” while Franciscan Health Hammond was deemed an “INspire Hospital of Excellence” by the Indiana Hospital Association (IHA), in partnership with Governor Eric J. Holcomb and State Health Commissioner Kristina Box, MD, honoring a commitment to infant and maternal health. This recognition was based on implementing best practices in five key areas, including infant safe sleep, breastfeeding, tobacco prevention and cessation, perinatal substance use, and obstetric hemorrhage.

In 2020, the Blue Distinction Centers for Maternity Care Program was expanded beyond traditional outcome measures to include assessments of internal quality improvement, data collection and dissemination, and internal protocols that better address clinical quality and equity issues in maternity care.

“With programs like Blue Distinction, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is helping our members make informed decisions about their healthcare,” said Beth Keyser, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana. “We are committed to providing access to quality care that will lead to better health outcomes for the people we serve. We appreciate the partnership with Franciscan Health and the care they provide to Anthem members.”

Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality specialty care in the areas of bariatric surgery, cancer care, cardiac care, cellular immunotherapy, fertility care, gene therapy, knee and hip replacement, maternity care, spine surgery, substance use treatment and recovery, and transplants, while encouraging healthcare professionals to improve the care they deliver.

To learn more about Franciscan Health’s Women and Children’s Services, go HERE.