MedStar Washington Hospital Center Awarded Top Population Health Honor by America’s Essential Hospitals

MedStar Washington Hospital Center Awarded Top Population Health Honor by America’s Essential Hospitals

Share this
A mother holds her newborn baby.

Hospital recognized for initiatives to address and improve birth equity in nation’s capital.

WASHINGTON – MedStar Washington Hospital Center has received national recognition as the 2024 Gage Award Winner for Population Health from America’s Essential Hospitals. It was recognized for its work to address social determinants of health and improve birth equity in Washington, D.C.’s underserved neighborhoods, specifically in Wards 7 and 8.

Maternal and infant mortality rates in D.C. are some of the highest in the nation. Through MedStar Health’s D.C. Safe Babies Safe Moms initiative, which aims to create positive and sustainable change in maternal and infant health, MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s Women’s and Infants’ Services team launched interventions to increase birth equity in D.C.’s Black-majority Wards 7 and 8, where infant mortality rates are twice the city's average. Preconception health assessments flag individuals with chronic diseases who may be at risk for poor maternal health outcomes. Prenatal social needs screenings connect patients with needed resources, such as housing, food, transportation, and legal assistance.

The aim of the efforts was three-fold:

  • Increase access to prenatal care and postpartum care, and early interventions for adverse social determinants of health. 
  • Decrease the number of patients experiencing birthing complications.
  • Mitigate risk factors associated with higher mortality rates in D.C.

As a result of these interventions, MedStar Washington Hospital Center has seen a clear increase in patients accessing multiple healthcare services, which led to improved health outcomes. For example, the number of patients receiving diabetes support has nearly tripled since the program launched, and now, 92 percent of high-risk patients receive services for diabetes control—a nearly 30 percent increase. Ninety-five percent of patients were screened for social risk factors during prenatal and postpartum periods and 97% of prenatal patients received breastfeeding education in the last year.

“We are so grateful for the generous gift from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation that has enabled us to do this great work together,” said Tamika Auguste, MD, chair, Women’s and Infants’ Services at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. “We’ve enjoyed collaborating with our community partners to make differences in the outcome and lives of our maternal and newborn populations in the District of Columbia. Our team is dedicated to making these improvements and continuing to make a difference.”

The Gage Award for Population Health recognizes programs that aim to improve specific health outcomes for a defined population or community by addressing the social and economic factors that influence health. The award, named after America’s Essential Hospitals founder Larry Gage, honors, and shares successful and creative member hospital programs that improve patient care and meet community needs.

“We are humbled and grateful to be recognized for the amazing work our team does every day for mothers and their families through our Safe Babies Safe Moms program,” said Gregory J. Argyros, MD, president of MedStar Washington Hospital Center. “Our work is so important, and we are seeing remarkable results. We are committed to continuing this important program to provide our patients with the highest quality and safest care.”

For more information on our broader efforts to improve maternal and infant health outcomes, visit here.

WATCH NOW: 2024 Gage Award Winner for Population Health | MedStar Washington Hospital Center

play button