We are a statewide partnership of health care professionals
and public and private organizations working to improve
perinatal health in West Virginia.

  • We want health care providers to be able to best care
    for pregnant women and their babies.
  • We encourage new laws that promote better health
    for pregnant women and their babies.
  • We create opportunities for perinatal professionals
    to share their expertise with each other.
  • We spread the latest knowledge about perinatal
    health through educational programs.
  • We work to reduce tobacco and drug use among
    pregnant women and foster oral health care in
    pregnant women and infants.
  • We study research and trends in mother/child
    health and work to distribute that information.
GET INVOLVED Read Our 2011-12 Workplan (PDF)

2013 Summit Participants

West Virginia Perinatal Partnership 2013 Summit

On November 7th and 8th the West Virginia Perinatal Partnership brought together over 150 health care professionals for the 2013 Perinatal Summit held in Charleston, WV. Local, regional and national faculty presented on a variety of issues affecting the health of West Virginia pregnant women and their infants. In addition, a number of hospitals were recognized for their efforts to improve maternal and infant care during the opening reception held at the Governor’s mansion. To view the agenda and presentations made during the Summit (Click here)

2012 Key Informant Survey2012 Key Informant Survey
for Perinatal Partnership

The 2012 Key Informant Survey report is now available on our web site.  This survey is a new analysis of the barriers, some changing and some the same, that need to be addressed if the State is to continue progress toward improved outcomes for our mothers and babies. (Download the PDF here)


FDA Black Box Warning

On Monday, May 12 the Office of the West Virginia Attorney General shared this news release and letter to the FDA from attorneys general from 43 states and territories. The letter asks the FDA to place a "black box" warning on all opiod-based pain relievers to inform expectant mothers that taking the medicine during pregnancy could cause Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.

With Delivery Times, Defer to Mother Nature

A BLOG POST FROM ACOG PRESIDENT (Posted on March 22, 2013)
“Let nature take its course.” Over the years, I’ve found this saying particularly applies to the process of giving birth. My personal experience as an ob-gyn and reams of scientific research demonstrate that Mother Nature knows best when a child is ready to be born. The start of natural labor is the main sign, but we’re not always patient enough to wait for it. Today, one in three babies in the US are born by cesarean—the delivery of a baby through an incision in the mother’s abdomen and uterus. ....READ THE FULL BLOG

Dear Perinatal Partners:

Our Perinatal Partnership Director, Amy Tolliver made a presentation of the accomplishments and challenges of the Partnership to an audience of the Center of Excellence in Women's Health at West Virginia University the week of March 11th, 2013.  Janine Breyel, Perinatal Partnership Project Manager for the Drug Free Moms and Babies Project also presented information.  To listen to this presentation click on http://www.wvhealthywomen.org/pages/Education/CAN-Meetings

ACOG and AAFP urge women to “Choose Wisely” when it comes to elective delivery

Last April, the ABIM Foundation, with Consumer Reports and other partners, drew national attention to overuse of ineffective and harmful practices across the health care system with their Choosing Wisely campaign. As part of the campaign, professional medical societies identified practices within their own specialties that patients should avoid or question carefully. Read more about this.

2012 Executive SummaryAccomplishments of the West Virginia Perinatal Partnership: Improving outcomes for mothers and babies for six years

In the six years since the West Virginia Perinatal Partnership was established, a number of new strategies have been implemented, changes made to existing programs and policies, and mechanisms put in place to continue to address the health care needs of mothers and babies in the state.

Click here to see the 2012 Executive Summary

For Immediate Release:
November 28, 2012
For Further Information Contact: 
Paul Miller, President, West Virginia Community Voices, Inc. 304-395-1692
Amy TolliverWest Virginia Community Voices, Inc. is happy to announce the new Director for the West Virginia Perinatal Partnership.  Amy N. Tolliver, of Charleston, West Virginia, will step into the position on January 1st, 2013.
Ms. Tolliver comes to the position with extensive experience in state and federal health policy development including legislative and regulatory policy.  Her experience includes serving as Budget Analyst for the West Virginia House of Delegates Finance Committee, as Program Coordinator for the West Virginia Child Care Association, and since 1999 as Government Relations Specialist/Director for the West Virginia State Medical Association.  Since 2006, Ms. Tolliver has been actively involved with the Perinatal Partnership by acting as the legislative liaison, serving on the Steering Committee and other committees working to improve mother and baby health.
The West Virginia Perinatal Partnership (WVPP) is a project of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and is managed by West Virginia Community Voices, Inc.  The WVPP is a statewide partnership of health care professionals and public and private organizations working to improve perinatal health in West Virginia by promoting effective health policy.


Department of Health and Human ResourcesFor more information contact:
Marsha A. Dadisman, Director
Office of Communications
Phone: 304-558-7899
Email: marsha.a.dadisman@wv.gov

November 8, 2012

For Immediate Release

West Virginia Perinatal One Call System – 1-866-893-7266

Commissioner of Public Health, Dr. Marian Swinker announced the establishment of the WV State-wide perinatal One Call System for physicians and hospitals. The One Call System will allow for quick responses to find intensive care hospital beds for newborn infants or pregnant women needing immediate high risk care.

Perinatal providers have long seen a need for easy-to-get, current information about bed availability in West Virginia Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) and maternal high-risk units. Hospitals with NICUs and High-risk Maternal Units are called Tertiary or Level III Perinatal Centers. There are three Tertiary or Level III Perinatal Centers in West Virginia: Charleston Area Medical Center Women and Children’s Hospital, West Virginia University Hospital and Cabell Huntington Hospital. There are 25 non-tertiary hospitals that routinely provide care for mothers and babies. When these hospitals have high-risk mothers or newborn babies in distress they need to transport them to Charleston, Huntington or Morgantown.

The West Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services has collaborated with the West Virginia Perinatal Partnership to make a hotline available. Perinatal providers can call if they are trying to locate an NICU bed for a baby in distress or an obstetric bed for a high risk expectant mother, thereby saving precious time. Callers to the hotline will not only find a bed, but also be connected with a specialist at the referral center for consultation.  

The need for this service was recognized when the Perinatal Partnership surveyed all hospitals with birth services in 2007 and 2011. In both surveys 90 percent of the hospitals responded that making one call to a “Transport Call Center” would be desirable.

The EMS Medical Coordination Center (MCC) in Flatwoods will operate the hotline at 1-866-893-7266. The hotline will save providers time when they are busy taking care of their sick patients. The MCC will locate the nearest tertiary bed available and will “patch” the call through to the usual transport number at that center. Providers with strong relations to their referral center hospital may continue to call their usual referral centers directly.

For additional information contact: Mark Wigal, Director, Office of Emergency Medical Services at 304-356-4476 or Ann Dacey, RN, BS, Nurse Coordinator, WV Perinatal Partnership at 304-293-8891 or 304-288-6122.


Click these links to find the 
Protocol for Medical Coordination Center (MCC) Communicators
and Staff at Non-Tertiary Hospitals

and the study report - 
West Virginia Perinatal Safety-Net   -  One Call Back-Up System for Access to Tertiary Beds for High Risk Mothers and Infants



Research Issues in the Assessment
of Birth Settings - Institute of Medicine

Source: iom.edu

The IOM and the National Research Council will convene a committee to plan and conduct a two-day public workshop that will review updates to the 1982 IOM-NRC report Research Issues in the Assessment of Birth Settings. The workshop will feature invited presentations and discussions that will highlight research findings that advance our understanding of the effects, on maternal labor, clinical and other birth procedures, and birth outcomes, of maternal care services in different types of institutional settings, including conventional hospital labor and delivery wards and alternative birth settings that may be hospital-affiliated or free-standing.

Seven State Study on Medicaid Births

High rates of maternal mortality, infant mortality, and preterm births, as well as continuing disparities in pregnancy outcomes, have prompted a number of state Medicaid agencies to focus on improving the quality and continuity of care delivered to women of childbearing age. As part of a peer-to-peer learning project, seven Medicaid agencies worked to develop the programs, policies, and infrastructures needed to identify and reduce women’s health risks either prior to or between pregnancies. The states also identified public health strategies. These strategies led to a policy checklist to help leaders in other states identify improvement opportunities that fit within their programs’ eligibility requirements, quality improvement objectives, and health system resources. Many of the identified programs and policies may help states use the upcoming expansion of the Medicaid program to improve women’s health and thereby reduce adverse birth outcomes.

For the full article click here

Perinatal Partnership Awards First Drug-Free Moms and Babies Grant to Shenandoah Valley Medical Systems - Additional DFMB Grants Available

The WV Perinatal Partnership awarded its first Drug-free Moms and Babies grant Shenandoah Valley Medical Systems (SVMS) in February 2012. SVMS provides comprehensive primary health care, including maternity, pediatric and behavioral health services in a single site located in Martinsburg.  The new program will utilize existing in-house staff, including nurse midwives, obstetrician/gynecologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, and certified addictions counselors.  Grant funding will be used to hire an additional part time psychotherapist/substance abuse provider (SAP)  and a Recovery Coach to work with pregnant and post-partum women.  Grant funds also will help pay for drug testing, including cord tissue, incentives, and other program expenses.
See more

Obstetric simulator helps teach control of blood loss during delivery

Noelle Obstetric Simulator
Sara Marriott, MSN, Allan Chamberlain, MD, Jed Rivers, CRNA, Judy Keeling, RN, Sara Price, MD, Lou Ann Craig, RN, Kari Spencer, RN, Regina Grome, PA-C in the massive hemorrhage scenario.

Hemorrhage in obstetrics has increased in incidence, including a 26% increase from 1994 to 2006.  Most of the time it is a routine occurrence, easily controlled. But hemorrhage remains among the leading causes of maternal death.  Fortunately, new research on control of bleeding is changing patient care for the better. New products and techniques have been introduced that can save lives.

On December 15, Dr. Allan Chamberlain and Amanda Burton, MSN, FNP, RN presented  best practices, a sampling of protocols and policies, and the opportunity to practice techniques of blood loss estimation and control on the Noelle Obstetric Simulator.   Nurses, physicians, medical students, midwives, and blood bank technologists participated in an interdisciplinary simulation experience at St. Mary’s School of Nursing.

Babies in withdrawal on the rise: In month 19% exposed to drugs, alcohol in-utero

A West Virginia Perinatal Partnership study of babies born in eight state hospitals, including WVU Hospitals, during a one-month period in 2009 found that 19 percent of the babies — nearly one in five — had been exposed in-utero to drugs or alcohol.  Thirteen percent of babies born at WVU Hospitals that month tested positive for drugs and 4 percent tested positive for alcohol. Read the article from the Morgantown Dominion-Post.

Report Gives W.Va. D for Premature Birth Rate

The Charleston Daily Mail reports in a November 2 article written by Zack Herold that while West Virginia's premature birth rate is on the decline, the state still received a "D" on the March of Dimes' annual report. Dr. Luis Bracero, one of the Champions of the West Virginia Perinatal Partnership's First Baby Initiative, is heavily quoted in the article. Read

First Baby Initiative is Underway

First Baby Initiative MeetingThe West Virginia Perinatal Partnership is pleased to be collaborating with the West Virginia Health Care Authority, March of Dimes-WV Chapter, and West Virginia hospitals in a project to improve health outcomes of mothers and their babies. The “West Virginia First Baby Initiative” is a quality improvement initiative that seeks to reduce cesarean sections in first-time mothers.  The photo above was taken at the First Baby Initiative meeting in Charleston on July 29, 2011. Pictured are representatives from 25 West Virginia hospitals participating in the Initiative. "Healthy Babies Are Worth the Wait" t-shirts were provided by the March of Dimes--West Virginia Chapter.  

Report Issued: West Virginia Quality Collaborative for Eliminating Non-Medically Indicated Elective Deliveries Prior to 39 Weeks Gestation

The West Virginia Health Care Authority has issued a report summarizing an effort undertaken in West Virginia to reduce the number of elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks gestation. These deliveries were found to represent a significant percentage of the overall deliveries in the state and present both a clinical and economic issue due to the increased risk for maternal and neonatal complications that accompanies them. The six month project engaged 14 of the state’s 30 hospitals that deliver babies. The participating hospitals represented 70% of the total deliveries in the state. Six months after the implementation of the Collaborative, the rate of elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks without a medical indication had decreased by more than 50%. One year after the completion of the Collaborative, the reduction has been maintained. Read the report.

The participating hospitals include: Raleigh General Hospital, Beckley, WV; St. Joseph’s Hospital, Buckhannon, WV; CAMC and Thomas Hospital, Charleston, WV; Cabell Huntington Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital, Huntington, WV; Greenbrier Valley Medical Center, Lewsiburg, WV; Monongalia Health System and West Virginia University Hospital, Morgantown, WV;Camden Clark Hospital, Parkersburg, WV; Princeton Hospital, Princeton/Bluefield, WV; Ohio Valley Medical Center and Reynolds Memorial Hospital, Wheeling, WV; and Weirton Medical Center, Weirton, WV.

Blueprint to Improve Perinatal Health

Report CoverIn 2006, thirty-three organizations partnered to uncover reasons for declining healthy birth outcomes in West Virginia and find solutions.  Over 200 perinatal professionals participated in a Key Informant Survey and 90 contributed in drafting the results of that study and recommendations: Blueprint to Improve West Virginia Perinatal Health (2006).  Then after a year's worth of focused effort, the Partnership reported on progress implementing the Blueprint and published Reports on the Blueprint to Improve West Virginia Perinatal Health (2007).

West Virginia health care professionals voiced a strong desire to participate in the process to improve perinatal care.  They indicated that although many elements of a cohesive system are present in the State, we must move towards a statewide system rather than a fractured regional approach. We need to utilize new methods of communication, provide better support for medical professionals in rural areas, better utilize our intellectual resources, and more fully implement parent support and education programs.  The West Virginia Perinatal Partnership was born of these desires.

Read the 2006 Blueprint(PDF)Read the 2007 Reports on the Blueprint (PDF) Read the Appendices to the Reports

New Study Released on Late Pre-Term Births

The West Virginia Division of Health and Human Resources Health Statistics Center has released a new study on Late Preterm Births 1993-2007.  The study reports that the rates of C-section among women with no medical risk factors increased 34.9% (4.3% to 5.8%) between 1993 and 1997 and 2003 and 2007, compared with a smaller increase of 13.0% (10.0% to 11.3%) among women with at least one medical risk factor.  Read the report.