Virtua Lourdes supports Black maternal health care

Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report for its efforts to improve maternal health in Black women, including services it provides at its Midwifery Birth and Wellness Center in Voorhees.

Among 26 hospitals nationwide, Virtua is the sole acute care facility in the Philadelphia region to earn the distinction. The accolade cited the hospital’s commitment to compassionate and equitable care for all patients regardless of race or ethnicity.

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“We believe that all people are deserving of compassionate, individualized care,” said Dr. Nicole Lamborne, Virtua’s vice president of clinical operations for women’s health and a practicing OB/GYN physician, “and therefore we must dedicate ourselves to being champions for health equity and providing our Black patients with outstanding experiences and clinical excellence.”

To earn the U.S. News and World Report recognition, hospitals must meet stringent criteria, including serving a minimum of 20 Black maternity patients annually and maintaining low rates of newborn complications and Cesarean sections among Black patients. Virtua was cited for exceeding those benchmarks.

Lamborne described the hospital’s collaborative and inclusive care model as a cornerstone of its success.

“A collaborative and inclusive care model leads to the best outcomes for our new mothers and their babies,” she explained. “Our protocols and expert staff help to ensure safe, equitable, and exceptional experiences for those we are honored to care for.”

The recognition of Vitua coincided with Black Maternal Health Week – observed annually during the week of April 11 – which aims to raise awareness of the maternal mortality rate among Black women in the U.S. They are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women, according to the federal government.

Founded by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, the week-long observance also shines a spotlight on the disparities in maternal health outcomes and the need for equitable access to quality care. Jennifer Winston, Ph.D, a health-data scientist at U.S. News, commended recognized hospitals for providing that access.

“For Black Maternal Health Week 2024, we celebrate these hospitals’ success in their important work …” she noted.

Virtua Health – South Jersey’s largest notprofit health system – delivers more than 9,000 babies annually at its area hospitals. In September, the Lourdes branch will introduce the TeamBirth NJ care model, a structured approach to enhance communication and shared decision-making between clinical teams and expectant parents.

For more information about Virtua and its commitment to community well-being, visit

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