The Family Birth Center at Western Plains has been recognized by Blue Cross Blue Shield with the Blue Recognition award for quality care, quality cost and safe deliveries for the state of Kansas.

The birth center was one of 15 hospitals in the state to have received the distinction.

"It is an honor and a privilege, because you are the guys that do all the work so kudos to you," Misty Tillman with Blue Cross Blue Shield said at the birth center on Wednesday. "You guys did all the hard work and deserve all the recognition.

"The staff here in the birthing unit are all rock stars."

The Family Birth Center at Western Plains, opened in September 2016

and features 10 labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum rooms that allow mothers and newborns to remain together in the same room to better start the bonding experience right after birth.

Along with the 10 labor rooms, there is also two triage areas, a newborn nursery, neonatal intensive care unit and a lactation area.

According to Tillman, 2,674 hospitals applied for the Blue Cross Blue Shield designation through the association throughout the country.

Of those, only one-third of the hospitals were honored, with 47 of those in the state of Kansas.

"There were rigorous quality methods that the hospitals had to meet," Tillman said. "They have done an outstanding job, keep doing what you're doing because this could not have been done.

"Hospitals like yours really standout."

WPMC Chief Nursing Officer Jay Fogg said, "This is wonderful, it is nice to see all the things coming together here and it really is a reflection to the hard work that was put forth on this.

"You guys are definitely raising the bar.

"This is a special time and I hope we are going to see more and more."

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