TO: Morning Star Women’s Health, St. Louis Park, MN and Menominee, WI
Health Foundations Family Health & Birth Center, St. Paul, MN

Emme Corbeil & Clare Welter, Trillium Midwifery Care, Minneapolis, MN
Erin Kaspar-Frett, Earth Mother Midwife
Maureen Dahl, Heritage Midwifery
Nikki Karrigan, Helping Hands Birth Services

FROM: Paul Scott, M.D., Chief of Staff
Marian Furlong, President & Chief Executive Officer
Robbi Hagelberg, VP & Chief Nursing Officer
Dennis Hartung, M.D., Medical Director, Birth Center
Marti Davies, Nurse Manager, Birth Center

DATE: Thursday, March 07, 2013

SUBJECT:   Hudson Hospital & Clinics Commitment to Women’s Care

Hudson Hospital & Clinics is committed to achieving the Triple Aim in our service to patients and families.  We are dedicated to providing excellent patient experiences while delivering quality care at an affordable cost.

We have consistently experienced growth in our Birth Center volumes each year and want to ensure on-going safe patient outcomes for both mothers and newborns.  It has been decided jointly by medical staff leadership and hospital administration to suspend vaginal breech deliveries immediately and these patients will be delivered by cesarean section.

Medical interventions will be employed, when needed on all mothers and newborns, including transfers in, to assure the safety of the mother and newborn. This practice is in alignment with national medical standards of care and consistent with other hospitals in the region.

Please communicate this information to all of your colleagues. If you have questions regarding this information, please contact Robbi Hagelberg at 715-531-6012.

This is the letter circulated to midwife friends of mine that refer to Hudson ( I guess I get special exception – not!) This is my letter to Dr. Dennis Hartung, our community’s “Go-to” Guy for Breech Vaginal Birth. Though his name is on this letter, his heart and soul are not!

This is what I wrote to Denny,

Dear Denny,
The community is hoping to hear news. They somehow think I have an in with you and know what’s up. I think the letter explained it, especially as I read the online description of Triple Aim.

Our hearts and cries are for you, Denny. We are compelled.

We wait for your words. While I wait, I drew this commentary.

This is what I wrote on Facebook

This really pisses me off! The fascist Triple Aim cited as justification for shutting down Vaginal Breech Birth in Hudson – meaning Dr. Hartung’s initiative to honor the rights of breech birthing women: 

“…An exercise in balance.
Pursuit of the Triple Aim is an exercise in balance and will be subject to specified policy constraints, such as decisions about how much to spend on health care or what coverage to provide and to whom. The most important of all such constraints, we believe, should be the promise of equity; [AND HERE’S THE RUB:] the gain in health in one subpopulation ought not to be achieved at the expense of another subpopulation. But that decision lies in the realms of ethics and policy; it is not technically inherent in the Triple Aim…” 

An Exercise in BALANCE!!!! WTF! Balance! Don’t be deceived! This evil distortion of speech means BANK BALANCE not body balance, spiritual balance or balanced birth!
Read this link sent by Midwife Catherine Mascari

and please distribute the cartoon I drew in response to this attack on our birthing community’s rights and against our Dr. Hartung!!!! 

Ten Reasons to Protect Vaginal Breech Birthing

At the very time Emme Corbeil of Trillium sent me the first text alerting me to this injustice, I was snapping this exact picture, as I and a small group of breech activists were indeed supporting the health of the one, or in the case of this first twin and family, three, over the profits and complacencies of the current trends towards corporate run cesarean section. This child is showing us ten reasons not to despair! We love our breech-friendly docs!


But I’m hesitant to share the name of the two doctors sitting with me on the receiving end of this brave mother. Here’s what people said,

  • Shannon Mitchell So who do we write?
  • Nickie Kozik Kerrigan Well said Gail!! this pisses me off and saddens me as well. This is the state of our country’s health care. It is all about the mighty $$ and not about Human Rights. Which, birth is a Human Right!!
  • Maryn Green Birth IS a human rights issue. I am honored to be among midwives such as you here in MN, Gail andNickie. Thank you for all that you do!
  • Jill Williams VanderZiel Capitalism and paternalism in force on this decision.
    about an hour ago via mobile · Like · 5
  • Shawn Walker Midwife I don’t get it? How is one woman’s achievement of a VBB gained at the expense of someone else? Care should be applied as it is needed. We don’t tell Type 1 diabetic women they can’t get pregnant because their requirements would be too great. 
  • Chandra Fischer Right. Freakin. On, Gail!
  • Shannon Mitchell It’s a false dichotomy. We are somehow taking something away by offering patient choices and appropriate care?
  • Ruth Shepard Trode I write this on anothers update earlier today:
    The usual bait and switch that is the mode of operation towards women by a dysfunctional, controlling system. The reason the birth center is so popular and has had such growth is because it gave women options…only to play God again and take them away. This is nothing but manipulation and subjugation of women!
    about an hour ago via mobile · Like · 3
  • Gail Tully Shawn Walker, exactly!! Ruth, yes, for profit and the comfort of the care providers and the corporations that hire them. I am so impressed with the character and valor of Doctors like Dennis Hartung who have cared for women the way they want and with gracious disagreement with some of his colleagues, but in force and in numbers they have come down on him.
  • Shannon Mitchell Actually, the irony is…they think it’s out of BALANCE to support patient choice and evidence-based, appropriate care.
  • Elizabeth Hochman A fire has been lit. Just awaiting info on where and with whom we can focus our energies. I’m heartbroken that the decisions of one group can effect the bodies, babies, and lives of so many women!!
    about an hour ago via mobile · Like · 1
  • Nickie Kozik Kerrigan I think they also felt the increase in funds he brought in and got a bit cocky maybe. Won’t they be surprised when they don’t get as much business after a statement like that.
  • Gail Tully Just so, Nickie, maybe that’s one way to speak of it. Fill your tanks, Ladies, the drive to physiological breech birth just got a bit longer — I’ll do another breech training before I go to England if the midwives want it here. Let’s just not us become cocky… Let’s become more ‘gini ! More smart about how we are going to serve those underserved breech bearing women.
  • Rachael Rapacz 1) it is wrong that this is happening, and I agree it is probably monetarily driven, but more from a litiginous than a surgical perspective, in my opinion.
    2) I think we need to be cautious about calling “fascism”. This is not the government, this is n
    ot even ACOG. This is admin and consulting companies trying to male money without losing money to lawsuits, and doing CYA maneuvers to do so. Let’s not muddy the waters. I think people cry fascism so often that it loses its real meaning.
  • Gail Tully Yes, Shannon Mitchell, but it shouldn’t be. Its out of the status quo.

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