HOUSTON (July 27, 2011)

For the seventh consecutive year, the women's programs at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital, Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital, Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital and Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center, as well as Women's Memorial Hermann Hospital at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center received the HealthGrades Maternity Care Excellence Award (2005-2011), recognizing the quality of maternity care provided at the hospitals.

The report, released last week by HealthGrades, the leading independent healthcare ratings organization, also revealed that Memorial Hermann Southwest, Memorial Hermann Southeast, Memorial Hermann Northwest and Memorial Hermann The Woodlands collectively ranked among the top 10 percent in the nation for maternity care and garnered a 5-Star rating for the ninth year in a row (2003-2011). The HealthGrades report found that women who give birth at 5-Star rated hospitals experience 32 percent fewer complications. The report also recognized that the four Memorial Hermann hospitals were ranked among the top 5 percent in the nation, and #6 in Texas for gynecologic surgery in 2011.

Women's Memorial Hermann Hospital at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center also ranks among the top 10 percent in the nation in maternity care. The hospital garnered a 5-Star rating for maternity care for the ninth consecutive year (2003-2011) and received a 5-Star rating for gynecologic surgery in 2011.

Additionally, Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital achieved a 5-Star rating for maternity care for the eighth year in a row (2004-2011).

Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital also was a recipient of the HealthGrades Gynecologic Surgery Excellence Award for 2011, ranking among the top 5 percent in the nation, and #10 in Texas with a 5-Star rating in the category.

For years, Memorial Hermann has been committed to providing women and their babies with the highest possible quality care in the Houston region. Services that distinguish Memorial Hermann's maternity care and women's health programs from its competitors include:

Women's Memorial Hermann Hospital at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center, Houston's only specialized women's hospital outside the Texas Medical Center.Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital, located within Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center.Access to the Children's Transport Team for specialized emergency transport services for patients by ground ambulance or via Memorial Hermann Life Flight®.Knowing that a hospital has earned a high rating for maternity care and safety can provide peace of mind to expectant mothers and their families.

"Women today have a wide array options when it comes to reproductive health and choosing a health care provider who aligns with their personal preferences," said Divya Cantor, MD, MBA and HealthGrades Senior Physician Consultant. "Mothers-to-be can optimize their chances for receiving the highest possible quality of care by researching and comparing the clinical outcomes of hospitals and doctors in their area."

Key findings of the HealthGrades 2011 Obstetrics & Gynecology in American Hospitals report include:

Maternity Care ratings are based on the analysis of four factors:

For each factor, hospitals are ranked and a percentile score is calculated. Lower maternal complication rates correspond to lower percentile rankings. For newborn volume, hospitals are assigned a percentile rank based on their overall volume of single, live-born neonates combined with the percentage of neonates falling into the 1,000 to 1,749 gram birth weight categories compared to the national average. Hospitals with higher volumes and higher percentages of these low birth weight infants receive lower percentile ranks. Finally, newborn risk-adjusted mortality is ranked based on the z-score.