The New Year brings new beginnings, and St. Francis Medical Center, a member of Prime Healthcare, has the special privilege of celebrating new life every day.

Celebration of LifeSt. Francis Medical Center offers the most comprehensive maternity and newborn expertise in Southeast Los Angeles in a facility devoted to caring for moms and babies, the Family Life Center. Services encompass prenatal, childbirth and postpartum care, as well as a level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and a dedicated Obstetric Emergency Department.

“For over 75 years, St. Francis Medical Center has been serving Lynwood and its surrounding communities, providing compassionate and life-saving care and addressing our residents’ evolving healthcare needs,” said Clay Farell, CEO of St. Francis Medical Center. “Perinatal and neonatal care are essential services that support the health of families today and into the future. We are partners in our community’s well-being, and we will continue to invest in services that are most critically needed.”

Celebration of LifeThe Family Life Center features 20 private, state-of-the-art labor/delivery rooms, 32 postpartum rooms, and an experienced team of obstetricians, anesthesiologists and specialty-trained nurses. Its level III NICU includes a partnership with nationally recognized Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) and UCI Health. Through this affiliation, more than 70 board-certified neonatologists and newborn hospitalists are accessible through in-person and virtual consults. In addition, NICU nurses, respiratory therapists and occupational therapists complete the team to meet the unique needs of premature infants and newborns requiring specialized care.

The OB Emergency Department, one of the only in the area, is equipped with nine beds staffed by board-certified obstetricians and certified labor and delivery nurses experienced in treating high-risk pregnancies. These specially-trained clinicians provide assessments and appropriate treatment for pregnant women who need immediate care.

“We are committed to removing barriers to care for our Southeast Los Angeles community, which has consistently faced healthcare access challenges,” said Gwinette Cowan, St. Francis Senior Director of Women’s and Children’s Services. “St. Francis Medical Center’s OB ED helps to ensure that expectant mothers receive timely treatment by providers experienced in managing obstetrical emergencies. It is a fundamental part of our full range of maternity services.”

Maternal-fetal medicine services ensure high quality, advanced care for women with complex pregnancies and critically ill infants throughout Southern California. Approximately one third of maternity patients at St. Francis struggle with diabetes, obesity, or hypertension, conditions which are contributing factors to high-risk pregnancies. St. Francis’ high-risk OB services help detect anomalies with a baby’s development and provide moms-to-be with access to specialized treatment, tests, monitoring and management to address pre-existing medical conditions and issues that may develop during pregnancy.

St. Francis Medical Center is a Welcome Baby participating hospital. Funded by First 5 LA, Welcome Baby offers expectant women in Los Angeles County’s Best Start communities information, support and resources during pregnancy, following delivery, and up through the baby’s first critical months. The program’s goal is to strengthen and support Los Angeles County neighborhoods and families by providing resources and access to activities that support the care, development, and well-being of pregnant women, new parents, and their babies.

Cowan said, “One of the greatest rewards is when a family comes back to visit with their baby all grown. We marvel at the now toddlers, school-aged children, and even teenagers who return to say hello and thanks. It is wonderful to know that, through our commitment to caring, we help give moms and babies the healthiest and best start in life.”

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