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Virginia Mason and CHI Franciscan Open a New Birth Center to Expand Obstetric Care Options to Puget Sound Families

Virginia Mason and CHI Franciscan Open a New Birth Center to Expand Obstetric Care Options to Puget Sound Families

The jointly-operated Birth Center will provide comprehensive obstetric care and offer personalized birth plans to meet the needs of local mothers

PR Newswire

SEATTLE, Aug. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Virginia Mason Birth Center, an Alliance with CHI Franciscan, is officially open to patients. The new 20,000 square-foot birth center is the realization of the two organizations' commitment to expanding comprehensive women's health and obstetric options as Seattle continues to grow and more capacity is needed.

Expecting mothers have more options today than ever before about their birth experience, and the Birth Center ensures a full range of options are available and accessible. The Birth Center offers a collaborative care model between OB/GYNs and Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) and welcomes doulas. Team members will work closely with mothers to help them make the best decisions for themselves from the level of medical support and pain management they desire, to the types of providers present during the delivery process.

Staffed by three certified OB/GYN providers and three CNMs, the Birth Center will offer:

  • New, private birthing suites
  • Three private labor and delivery rooms, six postpartum beds, and two obstetric triage bays
  • Personalized birth plans that offer many options and respect the preferences of expecting mothers, including water births, midwifery and doula care, and pain management, including nitrous oxide
  • Level II Special Care Nursery with five bassinets dedicated to newborns who need more intensive care
  • On-site lactation consultants and online childbirth preparation classes

"We are pleased to expand access to high-quality women's health services for patients and families who are looking for a comprehensive, personalized experience," said Ketul J. Patel, CEO of CHI Franciscan. "By bringing together the expertise of two leading Washington health care organizations, we are ensuring we can continue to meet the needs of our communities throughout the growing region."

In recent years, CHI Franciscan and Virginia Mason have developed joint offerings for obstetric and women's health, as well as radiation oncology to increase access of care for patients. The Birth Center will join Franciscan Women's Health at Virginia Mason, a 3,800 square-foot outpatient obstetric and women's health clinic that opened in January of this year. Between the joint facilities, women can access care throughout their pregnancy and beyond.

"Working closely with CHI Franciscan, our skilled teams will provide high quality and safe birthing and nursery services," said Virginia Mason Chairman and CEO Gary S. Kaplan, MD. "Welcoming a child is one of the most exciting moments for a family. Our new Birth Center's collaborative, patient-centric model will personalize care to create special and memorable experiences."

The Birth Center opening follows a recent announcement from CHI Franciscan and Virginia Mason to explore combining the two health systems through the formation of a Joint Operating Company. The organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding, with the goal of finalizing the evaluation and planning process by the end of 2020.

To keep patients and staff safe during the pandemic, all CHI Franciscan and Virginia Mason locations including the joint Birth Center, are taking extra safety precautions. Every person is screened before entering the facility. The Birth Center is also implementing universal masking, limiting the number of visitors, and following physical distancing guidelines.

For more information, patients can call or visit us online at (206) 287-6300 or

About CHI Franciscan

CHI Franciscan is a Catholic nonprofit health system based in Tacoma, Washington, with $2.45 billion in total revenue and a team of more than 12,500 physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses, and staff who provide expert, compassionate medical care at 10 hospitals and over 220 primary and specialty care clinics throughout the greater Puget Sound. This includes St. Anthony Hospital, Gig Harbor; St. Clare Hospital, Lakewood; St. Elizabeth Hospital, Enumclaw; St. Francis Hospital, Federal Way; St. Joseph Medical Center, Tacoma; St. Michael Medical Center, Bremerton and Silverdale; St. Anne Hospital, Burien; CHI Franciscan Rehabilitation Hospital, Tacoma, and Wellfound Behavioral Health Hospital, Tacoma. Started in 1891 by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, today CHI Franciscan is one of the largest health systems in Washington state. The system is comprised of more than 1,250 hospital beds and over 4,000 credentialed providers offering cardiovascular care, cancer care, orthopedics and sports medicine, neurosciences, women's care and other health care services. CHI Franciscan's mission is to create healthier communities, including caring for the poor and underserved. In fiscal year 2019, the organization provided nearly $200 million in community benefit—free, subsidized, and reduced cost health care and programs. Follow CHI Franciscan on Facebook, Twitter @CHIFranciscan and Instagram @chi.franciscan.

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.

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SOURCE CHI Franciscan

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