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Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center Recognized By Smart Care California For Reducing C-Sections

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  • Written By: PVHMC - Admin


Second Largest Birthing Hospital in California Surpasses Federal Goal for Fourth Year and
Lowest Rate in Hospital’s History

Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center (PVHMC) has been recognized as one of 111 California hospitals to meet or surpass a federal target aimed at reducing Cesarean births (C-sections) to 23.9 percent for first-time mothers with low-risk pregnancies, according to the California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS). The agency announced the achievement awards to hospitals on behalf of Smart Care California, a coalition of public and private health care purchasers that collectively purchase or manage care for more than 16 million people statewide – or 40 percent of all Californians.

Under the leadership of M. Hellen Rodriguez, M.D., PVHMC began focusing on efforts to reduce the hospital’s C-section rate a number of years ago, which has resulted in PVHMC’s C-section rate being below the federal target for four years. And in 2017, the Hospital achieved its lowest rate ever in this population; approximately 18.57 percent of its more than 6,200 births.

“Reducing our C-section rate truly has been a collaborative effort,” says Dr. Rodriguez. “We have worked to educate physicians, nurses, administration, and most importantly, patients and their families about the risks associated with C-sections for convenience. We want to ensure that C-sections are only performed when medically necessary.”

Research finds that after two decades of annual increases, there has been progress in reducing the state’s low-risk first birth C-section rate. The 111 hospitals that made the Smart Care C-Section Honor Roll account for 45 percent of the 242 hospitals that offer maternity services in California.

“The decline in California’s rate for low-risk, first birth C-sections will lead to healthier babies and mothers,” said CHHS Secretary Diana Dooley. “Thanks to the hospitals and their staff for their hard work in achieving this measurable progress.”

While life-saving in some circumstances, unnecessary C-sections can pose serious risks to mothers—higher rates of hemorrhage, transfusions, infection and blood clots—and babies—higher rates of infection, respiratory complications and neonatal intensive care unit stays.

Evidence suggests that a woman’s chance of having a C-section largely depends on where she delivers and the practice pattern of her physician and clinical team. Even for low-risk, first-birth pregnancies, huge variation exists in hospital C-section rates. Rates in California hospitals range from less than 15 percent to more than 60 percent. Experts find that variation of this magnitude is a signal of a problem that needs to be addressed.

Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center (PVHMC), a nationally recognized and accredited 437-bed, not-for-profit community medical center and trauma center, proudly serves residents in eastern Los Angeles and western San Bernardino counties. PVHMC’s accolades include The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for advanced certification in inpatient diabetes care, palliative care, sepsis, perinatal care, and total joint replacement. It is also the only hospital in Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties to receive all three Healthgrades® Women’s Care Five Star Excellence Awards™ for its exemplary work providing women with labor and delivery, gynecologic surgery and obstetrics and gynecology care. As the second-largest birthing hospital in California, PVHMC is honored to hold the prestigious Baby-Friendly designation. The Hospital is among the top 10% of all short-term acute care hospitals in the United States to receive the Healthgrades® Patient Safety Excellence Award. For more information, visit

About Smart Care California

Smart Care California is a public-private partnership working to promote safe, affordable health care in California. The group currently focuses on three issues: C-sections, opioids and low back pain. Collectively, Smart Care California participants purchase or manage care for more than 16 million Californians—or 40 percent of the state. Smart Care California is co-chaired by the state’s leading health care purchasers: DHCS, which administers Medi-Cal; Covered California, the state’s health insurance marketplace; and CalPERS, which manages pension and health benefits for California’s public employees, retirees, and their families. IHA convenes and coordinates the partnership with funding from the California Health Care Foundation. Learn more about Smart Care California.