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SMCH honored as one of America’s Best Hospitals for Obstetrics

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smch obstetrics award 21-01-10s

With big smiles beneath their masks, staff at Stewart Memorial Community Hospital are proud to announce they have been awarded the Women’s Choice Award as one of America’s best hospitals in obstetrics. Pictured are (from left) Ann Lengeling, chief nursing officer; Jenni Macke, RN, director of obstetrics; Dr. Derek Duncan; Dr. Susan Hornback; and Ashley Mork, RN, nurse educator.

LAKE CITY: Stewart Memorial Community Hospital recently earned the 2021 Women’s Choice Award as one of America’s best hospitals for obstetrics.

This places SMCH among the top 15 percent of hospitals considered the best in which to have a baby. Approximately 400 hospitals nationwide met the award’s evidence-based criteria that consider female patient satisfaction data, clinical excellence and feedback from women about what they want from a hospital.

“We are excited to again receive the Woman’s Choice Award for the fifth time since 2013,” said Jenni Macke, SMCH manager of obstetrics. “The birth of a baby is a magical time. I have helped mothers in labor and delivery for 26 years, and I still love the anticipation and birth experience. Dr. Derek Duncan and Dr. Susan Hornback are exceedingly knowledgeable, caring and compassionate as they welcome babies into the world, and it’s a pleasure to work with them. SMCH nurses have learned bedside techniques to help relax tight ligaments, help babies rotate into the optimal position for birth, and help decrease moms’ pain. Our board-certified nurse anesthetists play an important role in pain management and comfort solutions for our moms. Our compassionate and caring staff have over 138 years of combined OB experiences and are ready to deliver an outstanding experience.”

SMCH CEO Cindy Carstens added, “The vision of our organization is to transform the health of our communities by providing coordinated care and exceptional experiences. Our moms and babies receive services from multiple departments throughout our organization during their stay with us. We are proud to receive this recognition, as the feedback provided from the women we serve validates that our team provides that exceptional experience to all of our patients every day. Our services do not end with the delivery of the baby but continue throughout the lifetime of our patients.”

SMCH emphasizes family focus and personalized care, which encourages laboring moms to have a support person to participate in the birthing process. Mothers labor in labor and delivery suites equipped with whirlpool tubs, sleeping accommodations for their support persons, and a state-of-the-art security system. As part of this approach, exclusive breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact are promoted, enhancing the bond between mother and child.

With 3,745,540 babies born in the United States in 2019, choosing where to deliver is an important decision.

“New moms have many options when it comes to having their baby, so deciding on the best birthing experience is right up there with choosing the best doctor,” said Delia Passi, CEO and founder of the Women’s Choice Award. “We’ve made it easy for moms to vet out the hospitals that are proven to deliver an outstanding experience.”

According to the Women’s Choice Award organization, award winners offer exceptional obstetric services that ranked above the national average for patient safety. The scoring process also is unique in that it is the only national list that is evidence-based and focuses on female patient satisfaction. Awarded hospitals ranked above the national average for patient recommendations, as indicated by the data reported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems surveys. Additional considerations included having a NICU on-site and a low early elective delivery ranking.

SMCH has been serving patients since 1962. To learn more about SMCH’s obstetrics team, visit, call 712-464-3171 or follow the hospital on Facebook.

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