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Community Hospital in Munster was recently designated as a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and a Level III Obstetrical Service by the Indiana State Department of Health.

A new state law to certify level-of-care designations for hospitals or other facilities providing birthing services is part of an initiative to combat the Hoosier state's high infant and maternal mortality rates, which state lawmakers hope to reduce. Under SB 360, hospitals get rated on the levels of obstetric and neonatal care they provide so patients can be better informed about the quality of care they can expect.

“This advanced level of care and maternal services we provide ensures mothers and babies remain close together while they receive their care,” said Carla Meyer, director of patient care services at Community Hospital. “We also offer ongoing therapies and support to help these infants and families grow to their fullest potential in life.”

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The Level III NICU recognizes that Community Hospital provides comprehensive neonatal care for infants of all gestational ages and weights, clinical experience as proven by large patient volume, supervision by board-certified neonatologists, and newborn services such as life support, respiratory support and advanced imaging like MRIs. The Level III Obstetrical Service designation is conferred to hospitals that have OB-GYN and anesthesia services present on-site, staff trained to handle severe maternal complications, an on-site Intensive Care Unit, advanced imaging, and both surgical and anesthesia services.

“As Northwest Indiana’s premier provider of obstetric and newborn services, Community Hospital’s official designation as a Level III NICU confirms our tradition of providing the highest levels of personalized care for mothers and babies,” Community Hospital CEO Lou Molina said. “The state designation further clarifies the technology, expertise and quality outcomes we deliver on a daily basis to families throughout our communities.”

For more information, visit comhs.org/baby.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.