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LEGACY IN THE NEWS: Legacy Emanuel Builds Bridge to Safer Births

Portland Monthly Magazine

Given the history of hostilities between hospitals and the home-birth community, many women who choose home-birth remain trepidatious about how they will be received at hospitals. However, the doctors and nurses at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, are making an effort to bridge the divide. Initiated in 2006, Legacy Emanuel began structural and cultural changes to make the hospital more appealing to women who start delivering at home and to the midwives who help them—thus providing a safe and welcoming alternative when problems arise.

“By safe I mean safe from ridicule, and safe from the judgment they were encountering everywhere,” says Duncan Neilson M.D., chief of Women’s Health Services.

“If you make the opening, if you make a more inviting environment, then word will spread,” says Terri Cohen, CNM, the midwifery service program director at Legacy Emanuel. “We want midwives and women to know that if you are out of hospital and need hospital care, this is good place to bring your patients.”

More important, Neilson says, are what the hospital no longer sees: “We used to have these horrible [home-birth] disasters show up at the ER. And we do not see those disasters now. They have just about gone away.” 

Read the full story in Portland Monthly Magazine