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Elmhurst Hospital Honored for Hepatitis B Vaccine Birth Dose Rate

Thu May 21, 2015

Elmhurst Hospital has been recognized by the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) and the DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) for achieving one of the highest reported rates in the state for its work to protect newborns from hepatitis B virus infection.

Elmhurst Hospital is among the newest entries into IAC's Birth Dose Honor Roll (www.immunize.org/honor-roll/birthdose), which recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that have attained high coverage levels for administering the hepatitis B vaccine at birth. Elmhurst Hospital immunized 92 percent of babies from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014 and took additional steps to prevent perinatal transmission of hepatitis B.

"Elmhurst Hospital is only the third hospital in Illinois, and the first in the Chicago area to be listed on the IAC Birth Dose Honor Roll," said Karen Ayala, DCHD Executive Director.  "We congratulate them and appreciate our collective efforts to measure and recognize birth dose coverage and hepatitis B prevention-especially during May, which is Hepatitis Prevention month."

The national standard of care to prevent hepatitis B virus infection in babies is to administer hepatitis B vaccine to all newborns before they leave the hospital or birthing center. This standard is being adopted by centers of healthcare excellence nationwide as a safety net to protect newborns from a wide range of medical errors that may lead to babies being unprotected from perinatal hepatitis B infection.

"Hospitals and birthing centers have a responsibility to protect babies from life-threatening hepatitis B infection," said Deborah Wexler, MD, executive director and founder of IAC. "Elmhurst Hospital's commitment to the best practice of hepatitis B vaccination at birth has shown them to be a leader in preventing the transmission of the hepatitis B virus."

"It's important that we give the hepatitis B vaccine to newborns before they leave the hospital because people transmitting the disease sometimes don't show symptoms," said  Roma Allen, MSN RNC-OB, Director, Women and Children's Services, Elmhurst Hospital.  "Our campaign to achieve newborn vaccination prior to being discharged from Elmhurst Hospital demonstrates our commitment to family-centered care and the health of the community."

Elmhurst Hospital's Family Birthing Center features private birthing suites, ultra-innovative technology, deluxe family amenities and enhanced birthing methods.  The Center combines state-of-the-art facilities with personalized care in a comfortable home-like environment.  For more information, to meet the Center's physicians and midwives, and to take a virtual tour, visit www.emhc.org/FBC