Since at least 2005, Mission Regional Medical Center has received awards in women’s services almost every year. This year the recognitions include:
- Healthgrades Labor and Delivery Excellence Award
- Healthgrades Obstetrics and Gynecology Excellence Award
- Healthgrades Five Star Rating for Gynecologic Surgery
“Well, years ago I was privileged enough to witness the birth of my niece and it changed the whole direction of my career,” the women’s services manager said. “I knew all through nursing school that I wanted to do labor and delivery. I knew, even after doing all the other clinicals, my heart was labor and delivery and I haven’t regretted one moment.”
Kohnert has been with Mission Regional for 13 years. In that time she has seen the addition of a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and advances in technology and practices to improve service quality. The NICU is located within the delivery and labor unit so there is constant communication. In addition, the floor has its own surgical suites separate from the medical center’s main operating rooms.
Some other advances include an infant security system that helps prevent child abduction and a central fetal monitoring system. This system allows nurses to monitor all babies’ heart rates through every computer on the floor.
The nonprofit medical center is also Texas Ten Step certified, a program that is based on the philosophy that breastfeeding is the best option for feeding a baby. A lactation consultant is available, as well as English and Spanish discharge classes that focus on the basics of baby care.
“(The staff) empathizes and they help answer questions because it is a stressful situation,” CEO Javier Iruegas said. “It’s a nine-month journey of love and you’re finally getting to that end point and working with people that understand that is really important.”
There were 104 hospitals that achieved the 2015 Healthgrades Labor and Delivery Excellence Award. These facilities are distinguished as the top 10 percent of hospitals evaluated, based on vaginal and C-section delivery outcomes.
For the Obstetrics and Gynecology Excellence Award, 76 facilities that outperformed during and after delivery, as well as during gynecologic surgeries, were recognized.
Kohnert said her favorite part about working in women’s services is witnessing life and seeing parents’ reactions to the birth of their child. One of her patients has had all four of her children at Mission Regional and Kohnert was the nurse each time.
“It’s really a privilege to be a part of this person’s life,” Kohnert said. “I always remind the nurses that you have the opportunity to make a difference in this person’s experience because for a lot of them it’s the first pregnancy and you want it to be enjoyable.”
Anywhere from 2000 to 2500 babies are delivered from Mission Regional each year. The hospital has provided more than 60 years of service.
“Mission is like my home,” Kohnert said. “I have worked at other local facilities before, but there is just something about this place that is just very special.”