UPMC Magee to become The Midwife Center's new primary referral hospital

Dear Midwife Center Clients,

You may have heard the news that on January 9, 2019, UPMC Mercy announced its plans to close its inpatient obstetric services by March 8, 2019. We were sad to hear this news, as we have worked with UPMC Mercy for more than nine years and we have enjoyed a very supportive relationship with the physicians, nurses, and other staff there. Since the announcement, Midwife Center staff members have been looking into the best option for our future primary hospital relationship.

Officials from Magee have invited The Midwife Center to transition our hospital services to their campus. After very reassuring negotiations, The Midwife Center has decided that Magee will be our new primary referral hospital upon Mercy’s closure. There will be no interruption of services.

We know that changes can be difficult and we hope to make this transition as easy as possible. We welcome your questions in the coming weeks. We would like to assure you that:

  • The Midwife Center will remain an independent nonprofit freestanding birth center and we will continue to provide all of the services we currently offer at our facility in the Strip District, including births at our center. We have not been acquired by UPMC.
  • Just like at Mercy, our midwives will have admitting privileges at Magee. If you deliver at Magee, our midwives will continue to care for you in collaboration with hospital nurses and staff.
  • We are very happy that our primary consulting physicians will continue to be Greater Pittsburgh OB/GYN (GPOB). TMC midwives have had a consulting relationship with this group for more than nine years and are very pleased to continue to work with this respected group. GPOB will continue to be available at all times if a midwife needs to consult or if a client needs a cesarean delivery. They will also be available for clients who need gynecological procedures.
  • The Midwife Center will also continue to have a relationship with the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Magee. These internationally renowned physicians offer the highest level of care to women with complicated pregnancies. They have extensive experience working with midwives.

We would also like to share with you some information about our new primary referral hospital. Magee has been serving women across the lifespan for over a century. In addition to its well-known and respected research and its ability to care for the highest risk patients, Magee also has the lowest cesarean rate and the highest VBAC rate of any of the hospitals in its system.

Magee has introduced several initiatives to support lower intervention births, including the “Golden Hour” to promote skin to skin immediately postpartum, delayed cord clamping, and use of comfort measures such as birthing balls and squatting bars. They are also engaged in conversations to increase options for low-intervention births and will start to offer nitrous oxide in the next couple of weeks.

Midwife Center clients with Highmark insurance will still have the same access to both West Penn Hospital and Jefferson Hospital through our collaborative relationship with Allegheny Health Network.

Please save the date for two upcoming tours at UPMC Magee for Midwife Center clients: Wednesday, February 6 at 10:00am and Monday, February 11 at 7:00pm. We will provide more information about these tours as soon as possible.

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at a.mccarthy@midwifecenter.org. You may also contact Christine Haas, Executive Director at c.haas@midwifecenter.org.

Warm Regards,

Ann McCarthy, MSN, CNM
Clinical Director