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U.S. News & World Report recognizes Overlook Medical Center’s excellent Black patient outcomes for Black Maternal Health Week 2024

SUMMIT, NJ (Union County) – Atlantic Health System’s Overlook Medical Center has been recognized for its success in supporting Black maternal health by U.S. News & World Report for Black Maternal Health Week 2024.

“Overlook is proud to be the destination of choice for a growing number of patients as they welcome new members of their families. As the diversity of our families continues to grow, we are investing in maternity care at Overlook,” said Stephanie Schwartz, MHSA, FACHE, Senior Vice President, Atlantic Health System and President, Overlook Medical Center. “This recognition reflects the environment we have created to ensure that Black patients and families are supported with exemplary care during this special time in their lives.”

Overlook Medical Center is currently in the midst of modernizing its Frank & Mimi Walsh Maternity Center. The project, which will reconfigure the maternity department, tripling the number of private rooms, enhancing the flow of patient-centered care and establishing new resources for families, is part of a multi-phase plan to expand and upgrade Overlook Medical Center.

Overlook has seen an uptick in deliveries in recent years. As that volume increased, so too has the number of families of diverse backgrounds and underserved populations. Overlook is uniquely located near some of the most diverse and historically underserved communities in New Jersey. In 2021, more than half of Overlook’s maternity patients identified as a race/ethnicity other than white and many face disparities in health care.

The maternity project will build a safe, high-quality and equitable continuum of care for all pregnant and postpartum mothers, particularly Overlook’s growing population of high-risk patients. The project is supported by The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, which works to reduce disparities in the delivery of healthcare and improve access to quality healthcare for vulnerable populations in the greater Newark, NJ area and the Jewish community of Greater MetroWest NJ.

U.S. News’ analysis of all High-Performing Maternity Care Hospitals in the U.S. identified just 26 hospitals nationwide achieving excellent outcomes for cesarean section and unexpected newborn complications among Black patients.

U.S. News identified hospitals that were rated High Performing in U.S. News’ Best Hospitals for Maternity Care, served at least 20 Black patients per year and had newborn complication rates of less than 2.62% and c-section rates of less than 23.9% (among hospitals providing a higher level of care) or 23.6% (among hospitals not providing a higher level of care) among Black patients.

“For Black Maternal Health Week 2024, we celebrate these hospitals’ success in their important work supporting and advancing Black maternal health as part of U.S. News’ ongoing commitment to health equity and our support of women’s access to maternity care,” said Jennifer Winston, Ph.D., health data scientist at U.S. News.

A hospital that has earned a High Performing designation may be a good option for parents, in consultation with their medical provider, to consider.

Founded by Black Mamas Matter Alliance (BMMA), Black Maternal Health Week is held every April as part of National Minority Health Month; this year is the seventh annual observation of Black Maternal Health Week.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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