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SD Hospitals Quick To Sign Pledge To Reduce Early Elective Deliveries

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Wednesday, March 04, 2015
CONTACT:  Colleen Winter, (605) 773-3737 


SD Hospitals Quick To Sign Pledge To Reduce Early Elective Deliveries


PIERRE, S.D. – First Lady Linda Daugaard said today that 16 hospitals have already signed pledges to reduce the number of early deliveries done for non-medical reasons.


Earlier this month First Lady Daugaard and North Dakota’s First Lady Betsy Dalrymple challenged birthing hospitals in the two states to reduce early elective deliveries. The 24 hospitals in South Dakota that do deliveries were all invited to sign the pledge.


“I’m very pleased with this response and I want to commend these hospitals for their leadership in recognizing the importance of reducing early elective deliveries and joining this effort so quickly,” said Mrs. Daugaard.


Hospitals that have already signed the pledge include:

  • Avera St. Luke’s Hospital, Aberdeen
  • Sanford Aberdeen Medical Center, Aberdeen
  • Douglas County Memorial Hospital, Armour
  • Brookings Hospital, Brookings
  • Sanford Chamberlain Medical Center, Chamberlain
  • Milbank Area Hospital/Avera Health, Milbank
  • Avera Queen of Peace Hospital, Mitchell
  • Mobridge Regional Hospital, Mobridge
  • Avera St. Benedict Health Center, Parkston
  • Avera St. Mary’s Hospital, Pierre
  • Platte Health Center, Platte
  • Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center, Sioux Falls
  • Sanford USD Medical Center, Sioux Falls
  • Sanford Vermillion Hospital, Vermillion
  • Prairie Lakes Healthcare, Watertown
  • Winner Regional Healthcare Center, Winner

Douglas County Memorial Hospital in Armour was the first to sign the pledge. Administrator Heath Brouwer said, “We recognize how important the final weeks of pregnancy are for a baby’s development and work hard to ensure a healthy delivery for every baby born at our hospital. We’re happy to join this effort to reduce early elective deliveries.”


Early elective deliveries (EEDs) are non-medically indicated deliveries performed before 39 weeks of pregnancy for no specific medical reason. EEDs pose health risks to both mother and baby and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends against induced labor or cesarean sections before 39 weeks of pregnancy unless there is a medical necessity.


Both North Dakota and South Dakota are already making progress in decreasing induction rates. A June 2014 data brief from the National Center for Health Statistics reported that the two Dakotas were among only five states to reduce induction rates at 38 weeks of pregnancy by 30 percent or more, leading the nation.


The deadline for submitting pledges is March 15 and Mrs. Daugaard said she expects additional birthing hospitals in South Dakota to submit pledges and participate in the EED effort.


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Improving birth outcomes and the health of infants is one goal of the department’s Health 2020 initiative.