A group of nurses from the Birth Center at TriStar Hendersonville Medical Center were recently awarded a Gold Level Quality Award for a project they presented during an annual meeting of the Tennessee Initiative for Perinatal Quality Care (TIPQC).

The nurses participated in the gathering that featured a diverse group of national and state-level stakeholders discussing the statewide progress of TIPQC initiatives relating to infant and maternal issues in Tennessee.

The annual meeting brought together more than 300 physicians, nurses, hospital administrators, insurance companies, families, legislators and community groups March 4 and 5, 2019, at the Cool Springs Marriott in Franklin.

"We have an exceptional group of nurses caring for newborns in The Birth Center and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at TriStar Hendersonville Medical Center, and this Gold Level Quality Award is a reflection of the skill, expertise and compassionate care they offer our hospital's smallest patients every day," stated TriStar Hendersonville's Chief Nursing Officer Lisa Hochstetler. "Staying abreast of the latest education and trends in newborn care is a priority for all of our nurses, and being recognized for those efforts is a true testament to their dedication to providing the very best, safest care."

The two-day program featured sessions about maternal and child health issues, quality improvement projects, and information shared by key state and national speakers. Speakers included Tennessee Commissioner of Health, Dr. Lisa Piercey; Dr. Neel Shah, Harvard Medical School & March for Moms; Charles Johnson, 4Kira4Moms; Dr. Debra Bingham, Institute for Perinatal Quality Improvement; Dr. Ann Borders, Illinois Perinatal Quality Collaborative; Dr. Tia Hubbard, UC San Diego School of Medicine; Dr. Morgan McDonald, Tennessee Department of Health; Dr. Victor Wu, TennCare; and Dr. Stephen Patrick, Vanderbilt Center of Child Health Policy. Speakers focused on improvement opportunities and efforts on a local, state, and national level.

"We were proud to participate in the TIPQC gathering to strengthen our knowledge of the statewide and national issues surrounding infant and maternal care, as well as to collaborate, benchmark and share best practices with our colleagues from across the state," said Stephanie Elsten, RN, NICU manager at TriStar Hendersonville Medical Center.

Participants also took part in project workshops where they discussed current and ongoing challenges, best practices, successes, and collaboration around Optimizing Care of the 35-36-Week Infant, Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives, Opioid Use Disorder, Opioid Exposed Newborns, Communication in Disparities, Maternal Depression screening, Trauma Informed Care, and the Tennessee Breastfeeding Coalition.

"The work in Tennessee around perinatal health has never been more important as we continue to show some of the worst health outcomes across the nation," said TIPQC Executive Director Brenda Barker. "Engaged teams across the state are showing remarkable progress in changing this tide to make Tennessee the best place to be born."

For more information about TIPQC or the 2019 annual meeting and quality awards, please contact Brenda Barker, executive director of TIPQC at (615) 343-8536.