Berwyn, IL - On Friday, PCC Community Wellness Center (PCC) held a grand opening for the Birth Center at PCC , Illinois’ first free-standing birth center.At the grand opening, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Representative Camille Y. Lilly (D, 78th District) spoke to over 80 attendees about the importance of birth centers and adequate healthcare access. "America cannot go wrong investing in healthy moms and healthy babies," Durbin said.
Other participants in the event included Mary Sommers, Birth Center Director of Clinical Operations, and several mothers who had given birth at the center along with their babies. “Our patients are receiving great care and the community is noticing,” said Robert J. Urso, PCC president and CEO. Ronald Austin, Jr., Chair of PCC’s Board of Directors, complimented PCC’s leadership in their efforts to establish and license the center. He also thanked Sommers and Clinical Director Cecelia Bacom, who lead a midwifery team to provide patient-centered care in the facility.
So far, 27 babies have been delivered in the Birth Center at PCC. The facility is located at the corner of four communities—Berwyn, Chicago, Cicero and Oak Park—yet patients are traveling from as far as Elgin and Park Forest to deliver at the Birth Center at PCC.
Birth centers are proven, safe options for low-risk patients. However, despite widespread usage of birth centers across the United States, it took Illinois 25 years to pass birth center legislation. Now signed into law, the Alternative Health Care Delivery Act (Public Act 095-0445) establishes birth centers in Illinois and regulates them.
The Birth Center at PCC remains the only free-standing birth center in Illinois. It is a home-like facility separate from the hospital where women can give birth with minimal medical intervention. As a prerequisite for birth center care, pregnant patients must be considered low-risk and otherwise healthy. Patients also attend prenatal classes preparing them for an out-of-hospital birth. Patients stay at the Birth Center at PCC throughout the duration of labor, delivery, and early postpartum. Whenever mothers and newborns require hospitalization, they will be transferred into the care of PCC providers at West Suburban Medical Center, (WSMC) located six minutes away. PCC provides 24-hour labor and delivery services at WSMC with at least two PCC physicians always available in-house, including a provider to perform Cesarean sections. “This is only the beginning,” said Sommers. “Through our birth center, more and more women will be empowered to take an active role in making decisions about their children’s births.”