St. Joseph's Women's Hospital Maternal Care

A+ for Mama and Baby at St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital

St Joseph’s Women’s Hospital Proves its Commitment to Top-Notch Care for Mothers-to-Be

For the expert doctors, nurses, technicians and all the other unsung heroes who deliver babies at St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital, this news did not come as a surprise: The facility just attained the highest level of certification in Maternal Care by The Joint Commission, the nation’s oldest heath care accrediting organization.

And Dr. Megan Tirone, chief medical officer of St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital, couldn’t be prouder. “This just verified the quality care that we were already providing,” Dr. Tirone says. “We were already doing it, and doing it well.”

As a Level IV maternal care verified facility, St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital is recognized for its commitment to providing exceptional maternal healthcare services. It is the sixth facility in Florida to earn the certification as part of The Joint Commission’s Maternal Levels of Care (MLC) Verification program, offered in collaboration with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

The MLC Verification program verifies that a hospital has the expertise, equipment and resources in place for a patient’s specific needs and risk level. Obtaining this certification was a deeply involved process. The certification team delved into charts, interviewed nurses, spoke to patients and examined everything the facility does with a fine-tooth comb.

The staff had to demonstrate that not only do they run a top-notch operation, but also that the policies and procedures are in place to keep it running that way—policies that each member of the staff proved that they know inside out.

St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital demonstrated its capability to provide on-site medical and surgical care of the most complex maternal conditions and critically ill pregnant women and fetuses throughout antepartum, intrapartum and postpartum care.

The hospital also displayed its comprehensive approach to maternal care, which encompasses multidisciplinary teamwork involving obstetricians, perinatologists, emergency department personnel, intensive care unit staff, nursing teams and anesthesiologists. This collaborative effort ensures that even the most complicated cases receive specialized attention and optimal treatment.

Dr. Tirone says the program addresses not only physical health, but also mental well-being. “It’s a commitment to the entire patient, including mental health,” Dr. Tirone says. “We offer mental health services and support to mom. We recognize the importance of addressing maternal mental health as an integral part of her overall wellness.”

Care flows beyond the hospital walls also. The hospital recently launched a grant-funded High-Risk Obstetrics Clinic, which plays a crucial role in providing maternal fetal medicine consultation and evaluation for high-risk patients who may otherwise have limited access to care.

In partnership with Tampa Family Health Centers, the clinic offers obstetric care alongside essential wrap-around services such as navigation assistance, education and social services.

St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital joins Advent Health Orlando, South Miami Hospital, University of Florida Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies in Orlando as the sixth Level IV maternity hospital in Florida.

Dr. Tirone is especially proud of the culture of care that is evident in every aspect of the hospital and in the way each staff member goes about doing their job every day. “Everybody enjoys being here, and everybody is proud to be here,” she says.

Sarah Naumowich, president of St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital, describes the certification as a testament to the hospital’s unwavering commitment to the well-being of mothers and their babies. “Our team prioritizes a culture of compassion, collaboration and excellence in every aspect of patient care,” she says.

For prospective area patients, the certification serves as reassurance that if they have a high-risk obstetric emergency situation, they have excellent options. Says Dr. Tirone: “It’s a way to know that this is a safe place, and you are in safe hands.”

*Presented by BayCare | Originally published in the June 2024 issue of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.