The flagship Northside Hospital in Sandy Springs. (Special)

Northside Hospital Atlanta became the first hospital in the country to receive Maternal Levels of Care Verification and the first in Georgia to receive a Level IV Maternal Center Designation from the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH).

The Joint Commission, the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in healthcare, made the announcement with the DPH on Dec. 29 in a news release.

The verification program, offered in collaboration with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, is a verification process that involves an on-site comprehensive review of a hospital’s maternal capabilities and policies, as well as a level of maternal care determination.

“Early in our history a pivotal decision was made to provide the best care for mothers and newborns in Georgia at Northside Hospital,” said Melissa Sisson, who is retiring as Northside Hospital’s longtime director of women’s services and led the hospital’s certification process.

More babies are born at Atlanta’s Northside Hospital each year than at any other single hospital in the United States. This position offers Northside a unique opportunity to develop expertise in the care of women and newborns with high-risk conditions complicating their pregnancies.

“Our strategy began in earnest with the establishment of a maternal-fetal medicine program, alongside a team of highly qualified obstetricians, certified midwives, nurses and staff,” Sisson said. “The designation of Northside Hospital Atlanta as the first Level IV Maternal Center in Georgia is an achievement that validates our ability to care for the most critically-ill mothers and newborns in Georgia.”

Bob Pepalis

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Rough Draft Atlanta and Reporter Newspapers.