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SEATTLE — (Oct. 7, 2019) — CHI Franciscan and Virginia Mason today announced the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has approved Virginia Mason’s certificate of need application for a Level II Special Care Nursery, paving the way for the new Virginia Mason Birth Center, an alliance with CHI Franciscan.

The two organizations have partnered to provide comprehensive perinatal services in Seattle, including an outpatient obstetric and women’s health clinic expected to open in January 2020, and a full-service birth center with a Level II Special Care Nursery expected to open in the summer of 2020. The new program will offer personalized birth experiences and increased access to high-quality care for mothers and families throughout the region.

“Expanding access to premier women’s and children’s services in Seattle will create more quality care options for families in our communities,” said Ketul J. Patel, CEO of CHI Franciscan. “We are proud to be opening the new birth center with Virginia Mason. This is another exciting step for CHI Franciscan as we further expand our clinical expertise throughout the greater Seattle region.”

The 20,000 square-foot birth center will combine CHI Franciscan’s regional leadership in personalized obstetric care with Virginia Mason’s focus on quality and innovation. The birth center will be staffed by physicians and certified nurse midwives.

“The nursery approval represents a major milestone in our partnership and our women’s health offerings to the greater Seattle community,” said Virginia Mason Chairman and CEO Gary S. Kaplan, MD. “We look forward to the work ahead to begin providing a comprehensive set of perinatal services with CHI Franciscan in Seattle next year.”

CHI Franciscan and Virginia Mason’s joint obstetrics program will follow a collaborative care model — utilizing expert physicians, certified nurse midwives, nurses and staff from both health systems to personalize care for each mother and newborn.

The new birth center will feature:

  • Private labor, delivery, and recovery rooms
  • Personalized birth plans that offer many options and respect the preferences of expecting mothers, including water births, midwifery care and pain management
  • Level II Special Care Nursery dedicated to newborns who need more intensive care
  • Childbirth preparation classes and newborn photos onsite

Franciscan Women’s Health at Virginia Mason will provide convenient access to prenatal care and comprehensive obstetrical and gynecological services. It will be located on Level 8 of Virginia Mason’s Lindeman Pavilion.

The Virginia Mason Birth Center will be located at the Floyd & Delores Jones Pavilion at Virginia Mason. Located on Level 16, the new facility will offer panoramic views of the city, the mountains and Puget Sound.

CHI Franciscan and Virginia Mason formalized their clinical partnership and strategic affiliation in March 2017. The organizations remain distinct and separate but work together to expand care services in the region. Virginia Mason joined CHI Franciscan’s accountable care organization, Rainier Health Network, to connect patients with more than 3,000 providers available between the two organizations. The two also partner to deliver radiation oncology services at Highline Medical Center in Burien and St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way.

About Virginia Mason Health System
Virginia Mason, founded in 1920, is a nonprofit regional health care system based in Seattle that serves the Pacific Northwest. In the Puget Sound region, the system includes 336-bed Virginia Mason Hospital; a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 500 physicians; outpatient medical facilities and services in Seattle, Bainbridge Island, Bellevue, Edmonds, Federal Way, Kirkland, Issaquah and Lynnwood; Bailey-Boushay House, the first skilled-nursing and outpatient chronic care management program in the United States designed specifically to meet the needs of people with HIV/AIDS; Benaroya Research Institute, which is internationally recognized for autoimmune disease research; Virginia Mason Foundation; and Virginia Mason Institute, which trains health care professionals and others around the world in the Virginia Mason Production System, an innovative management method for improving quality and safety.

Virginia Mason Health System also includes Virginia Mason Memorial, a 226-bed hospital serving Yakima Valley in central Washington since 1950. Virginia Mason Memorial includes primary care practices and specialty care services, including high-quality cardiac care; cancer care through North Star Lodge; breast health at `Ohana Mammography Center; acute hospice and respite care at Cottage in the Meadow; pain management at Water’s Edge; an advanced NICU unit that offers specialty care for at-risk infants; advanced services for children with special health care needs at Children’s Village; and The Memorial Foundation.

Media Contact:
Gale Robinette
Media Relations Manager
Virginia Mason Health System
(206) 341-1509

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