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May 22, 2024

Where Every Family Matters

Ascension Saint Thomas Earns Five-Star Rating for Birthing Project

The project aims to reduce mortality in preterm newborns.

Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital Midtown and Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford have received a five-star rating from the Tennessee Initiative for Perinatal Quality Care (TIPQC)’s Optimal Cord Clamping Project, which aims to reduce mortality of preterm newborns in Tennessee.

The hospitals began working with TIPQC in 2022 to ensure every baby born received a delayed umbilical cord clamping. The project specifically aims to reduce the mortality rate for infants born at 29.6 weeks or earlier, but delayed cord clamping provides health benefits to babies born at any term.

“Our hospitals have delivered more babies than any other hospital in the region for decades,” noted Dr. Shubhada Jagasia, President and CEO, Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital Midtown and West campuses. “Expectant parents throughout middle Tennessee have come to know Ascension Saint Thomas as the destination for a safe and highest-quality birth for their families. That’s why we continue to emphasize the health of mothers and babies alike by implementing new evidence-based programs and policies that benefit our patients and provide them with a personalized, boutique birthing experience. These results are a testament to the excellence of our outstanding physicians and caregivers throughout our Women’s Hospital at Ascension Saint Thomas.”

About the five-star rating

The five-star rating, awarded by TIPQC, is based on active project participation, including huddles and coaching calls, monthly outcome and structure data capture, data-driven QI work, clinical change implementation, and reaching the state’s goal of providing 90% of infants with optimal cord clamping. 

“This achievement is a testament to our pursuit of excellence in health care,” said Gordon Ferguson, president and CEO, Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford. “We’ve witnessed the impact of this project, not only for infants born prematurely but for every newborn born at our hospital. We will remain committed to providing the highest standard of care, always seeking innovative ways to nurture the health and well-being of the smallest members of our community.”

Delayed umbilical cord clamping is a practice that helps increase hemoglobin and iron levels at birth for newborns and regulates blood pressure. This practice has benefits for all newborns, but especially for those born before term.

To learn more about the TIPQC’s Optimal Cord Clamping Project, visit



About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 4-year-old Ezra and baby Norah.