EvergreenHealth Family Maternity Care Earns Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Blue Distinction® Center+ for Maternity Care - Archived

The health system is one of four in the Puget Sound region to receive designation

Kirkland, Wash. – EvergreenHealth is proud to announce its Family Maternity Center recently earned designation as a Blue Distinction® Center+ for Maternity Care by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. This achievement is part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care national designation program recognizing health care facilities that demonstrate expertise in delivering quality patient care safely, effectively and cost-efficiently.

The Blue Distinction Specialty Care Program includes two levels of designation: Blue Distinction Centers and Blue Distinction Centers+. EvergreenHealth was one of eight health systems in Washington to receive the Centers+ designation and one of four in the Puget Sound region. Maternity care centers with the Blue Distinction designation demonstrate expertise and a commitment to quality care for vaginal and cesarean section deliveries, with better overall patient satisfaction and a lower percentage of early elective deliveries.

“As one of the state’s top hospitals for number of births each year, with nearly 4,500 babies born here annually, we are committed to the highest quality care and a superior experience for mothers, babies and families who choose us for one of life’s most significant milestones,” said Bob Malte, EvergreenHealth CEO. “Receiving this Blue Distinction Center+ honor was made possible by every EvergreenHealth obstetrics physician, midwife, nurse, staff member and volunteer, whose collective dedication to providing an unparalleled experience helps patients to achieve better outcomes.”

The Blue Distinction Specialty Care Program evaluates facilities on quality metrics developed through a process that includes input from the medical community and quality measurement experts; a review of medical literature, along with national quality and safety initiatives; and a thorough analysis of meaningful quality measures from objective, publicly available sources. The goal of the program is to set the health care standard for quality, cost and access, while providing a credible foundation for local Blue Plans to design benefits tailored to meet employers’ own quality and cost objectives.

“At EvergreenHealth, our mission is to advance the health of our community with access to high quality care and absolute patient safety. We commend Blue Cross Blue Shield for establishing a program that helps patients find facilities that offer both quality and value for their specialty care needs, while encouraging health care professionals to continually enhance the overall quality and delivery of care nationwide,” Malte added.

This is not the first award of its kind for the Kirkland-based health system – EvergreenHealth has been recognized as a Baby-Friendly hospital since 1996, when it was named the first Baby-Friendly hospital in the United States. The Baby-Friendly Initiative, a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), recognizes facilities that promote breastfeeding and other postnatal practices to give babies the best start in life. The EvergreenHealth Family Maternity Center has successfully renewed its designation every five years since first earning it, recently reaching its 21st year of achievement.
For more information on EvergreenHealth’s Family Maternity Center and its achievements, visit


About Blue Distinction Centers
Blue Distinction Centers (BDC) met overall quality measures for patient safety and outcomes, developed with input from the medical community. A Local Blue Plan may require additional criteria for facilities located in its own service area; for details, contact your Local Blue Plan. Blue Distinction Centers+ (BDC+) also met cost measures that address consumers’ need for affordable health care. Each facility’s cost of care is evaluated using data from its Local Blue Plan. Facilities in CA, ID, NY, PA, and WA may lie in two Local Blue Plans’ areas, resulting in two evaluations for cost of care; and their own Local Blue Plans decide whether one or both cost of care evaluation(s) must meet BDC+ national criteria. National criteria for BDC and BDC+ are displayed on Individual outcomes may vary. For details on a provider’s in-network status or your own policy’s coverage, contact your Local Blue Plan and ask your provider before making an appointment. Neither Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association nor any Blue Plans are responsible for non-covered charges or other losses or damages resulting from Blue Distinction or other provider finder information or care received from Blue Distinction or other providers.

About EvergreenHealth
EvergreenHealth is an integrated health care system that serves nearly one million residents in King and Snohomish counties and offers a breadth of services and programs that is among the most comprehensive in the region. More than 1,000 physicians provide clinical excellence in over 80 specialties, including heart and vascular care, oncology, surgical care, orthopedics, neurosciences, women’s and children’s services, pulmonary care and home care and hospice services. Formed as a public hospital district in 1972, EvergreenHealth includes a 318-bed acute care medical center in Kirkland, a network of 10 primary care practices, two urgent care centers, over two dozen specialty care practices and 24/7 emergency care at its Kirkland, Monroe, and Redmond campuses. In 2015, the system expanded to include EvergreenHealth Monroe – an accredited, full-service 74-bed public hospital district, established in 1960 in Monroe, Washington. EvergreenHealth has clinical and strategic partnerships with several health care entities, including Virginia Mason, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and dozens of independent practices that are part of the clinically integrated EvergreenHealth Partners network and the Puget Sound High Value Network. In addition to clinical care, EvergreenHealth offers extensive community health outreach and education programs, anchored by the 24/7 EvergreenHealth Nurse Navigator & Healthline.

In 2017, EvergreenHealth achieved its ninth designation in the last 10 years (2009-2012, and 2014-2018) as a Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence from Healthgrades®, and it was named one of Healthgrades 2017 America’s 100 Best Hospitals placing it among the top 2 percent of hospitals nationwide, based on its outstanding clinical performance. EvergreenHealth was also named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals® by Truven Health Analytics™ in the “Large Community Hospitals” category for outstanding achievements in patient care, operational efficiency and financial strength, two years in a row. For more information, visit


Sasha Weiler
Director, Strategic Marketing, PR, & Digital Media

Kristi Herriott
Firmani + Associates Inc.