“One of the missions of the University of Louisville is to improve the health and well-being of the citizens of the Commonwealth,” said James Ramsey, president of the University of Louisville. “Our joining together with Baptist Hospital East is another step in meeting that mandate. We are joining with a health care organization strongly recognized for its high quality of service, as well as a strong partner for the School of Medicine for years.”

The agreement also ensures the UofL faculty will continue to provide the community the full range of reproductive services following the merger of University Hospital, Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for improving health care for women in the Louisville area and beyond,” said David L. Dunn, executive vice president for health affairs at UofL. “This also gives us additional training opportunities as we work to overcome the physician shortage we currently have within the state, and the worse shortage we anticipate in the coming years.”

“Baptist Hospital East has a long history of caring for women throughout all the phases of their lives, from childbirth to geriatric care, dating back to 1924 when doctors delivered the first newborn at the newly opened Kentucky Baptist Hospital,” said David Gray, president of Baptist Hospital East. “We’re committed to ensuring that women have access to the care they need. Our work with University of Louisville physicians is nothing new – it builds on our existing, longstanding relationship with the neonatologists and maternal-fetal medicine specialists at UofL, in addition to specialists from UofL who provide stroke care and neurosurgery for Baptist East patients.”

Edward Halperin, dean of the UofL School of Medicine said, The School of Medicine already has multiple longstanding partnerships with Baptist Hospital East. We are expanding these partnerships to meet the reproductive health needs of the women and men of the region regardless of their ability to pay. In December 2010 I promised that, as a condition of the proposed hospital merger, we would maintain a full range of clinical reproductive services and a fully accredited obstetrics-gynecology residency program. We are keeping our promise.

Baptist Hospital East has a history of collaboration with regard to UofL School of Medicine’s teaching mission. Cooperative programs already include both academic physicians and residents for maternal-fetal medicine, neurosurgery and obstetrics and gynecology.

“People throughout Louisville recognize Baptist Hospital East for the high quality care provided, especially related to obstetrical care,” said Sharmila Makhija, chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health at the University of Louisville. “My faculty colleagues are excited about the opportunity to expand on the existing relationship we have as we meet all the health care needs for the women of Louisville.”

Women receiving care through UofL faculty will continue to receive their prenatal care at current clinic locations. In consultation with her physician, any woman planning to have a tubal ligation following the birth of her child, whether vaginally or via cesarean section, will deliver at Baptist Hospital East. Additionally, any woman wishing to have a tubal ligation not associated with a delivery will have the procedure at Baptist Hospital East.

In accordance with current state law, a woman must provide at least 24 hours notice to her physician that she wishes to have a tubal ligation, whether or not it is associated with the delivery of a child.

“In cases of premature delivery or emergency cesarean section, standard of practice is that physicians have a discussion with the woman after the crisis of the emergency birth and/or associated health concerns of the baby have passed,” Makhija said. “In cases where, after the crisis has passed and in consultation with her physician, a woman wishes to proceed with a tubal ligation, the procedures will be scheduled at Baptist Hospital East.”

This relationship will be similar to others currently available throughout the market. For instance, if a patient needs organ transplantation, they most likely will be transferred to the only hospital locally where this procedure is available. Similarly, if someone needs burn therapy, they will be sent to the facility that offers that specialty.