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Summa Health System Off to a “Strong Start”

Date: 08.27.2014
Contact: Jim Gosky Phone: (234) 312-5052

AKRON, Ohio, August 27, 2014 – Summa Health System is teaming up with the Ohio Department of Medicaid on “Strong Start Ohio,” an 18-month project aimed at reducing poor birth outcomes and costs for high-risk Medicaid pregnant women. The collaborative effort, which is being administered by the Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center, involves three sites across the state and will involve 1,125 women by the completion of the project. Summa Health System is the only hospital in Northern Ohio participating in the collaborative.

Medical teams at Summa are engaging high-risk Medicaid and Medicaid-eligible women early in their pregnancies. The project seeks to empower women to actively participate in their prenatal care through health education, counseling, peer support and care management.

“Summa Health System is proud to participate in Strong Start Ohio,” said Michele McCarroll, Ph.D., director of Women’s Health Research at Summa. “With infant mortality and premature births throughout this state still at unacceptable levels, we are determined to help make a difference.”

The three project sites – the others being Adena Health System in Chillicothe and Holzer Health System in Gallipolis – will share best practices throughout the course of the project while test piloting two new maternity care models, Centering Group Care (CGC) and Maternity Care Home (MCH), which target improving birth outcomes, such as low birth weight and preterm births. The CGC and MCH models offered at Summa Akron and Summa Barberton hospitals provide services that complement traditional prenatal services. These enhanced services seek to address key prenatal, social and psychosocial risk factors linked to poor birth outcomes and elevated healthcare costs. In addition, Summa Health System was selected to advance education and technology by using a women’s resource app to assist patients and healthcare providers on key topics for high-risk pregnancies.

About Summa Health System
Summa Health System is one of the largest integrated healthcare delivery systems in Ohio and is one of only two health systems in northeast Ohio accredited by the American College of Radiation. Encompassing a network of hospitals, community health centers, a health plan, a physician-hospital organization, a multi-specialty physician organization, research and the Summa Foundation, Summa is nationally renowned for excellence in patient care and for exceptional approaches to healthcare delivery. Summa's clinical services are consistently recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (Magnet® status), U.S. News and World Report, Thomson Reuters and The Leapfrog Group. Summa also is a founding partner of the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron. For more information, visit or find us on Facebook at and Twitter at