PALATKA, FL – Putnam Community Medical Center Has Achieved the Federal Healthy People 2020 Goal for Safely Reducing Primary C–Sections in Florida.

The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) and the Florida Department of Health (DOH) announced Putnam Community Medical Center as one of 20 Florida hospitals in 2017 that achieved the Healthy People 2020 (HP2020) Maternal and Child Health goal focused on reducing cesarean section deliveries for first–time mothers with low–risk pregnancies. AHCA and DOH announced the recognition awards to hospitals at the Florida Hospital Association’s annual meeting on October 4, 2018 during the Celebration of Achievement in Quality and Service Awards Ceremony.

While life–saving in certain cases, cesarean sections (C–sections) can pose serious health risks to mothers and babies. Once a woman has a cesarean, she has a greater chance of having a C–section for subsequent births, increasing her risk of major birth complications. For the baby, some of the consequences can include a longer hospital stay in the neonatal intensive care unit, as well as higher rates of respiratory infection.

The mission of this recognition program is to highlight the importance of this health care quality issue statewide and to recognize those hospitals that are contributing to providing quality health care for mothers and infants. Both AHCA and DOH have recognized that the high rate of low–risk cesarean births is a major maternal and child health issue in Florida, as the state has one of the highest rates in the nation.

C–section rates for first–time low–risk pregnancies in Florida delivery hospitals range from 17 percent to 61 percent. State and local health officials believe that variation at this magnitude indicates a serious public health concern that needs to be addressed statewide. In response to the rise of unnecessary C–sections across the United States, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services adopted the HP2020 target of reducing nationwide C-section rates for low–risk births to 23.9 percent.

“We are extremely proud to have received this award.” Mark Dooley, CEO Putnam Community Medical Center, “Our goal is to provide high quality care for those in our community. As part of that goal and in caring for our community, providing the best care for the mothers who chose to have their child in our facility, and their newborn children, is paramount.”


  • Each year, slightly fewer than 4 million babies are born in the United States , with Florida accounting for 5.7 percent of all U.S. births (223,000 babies per year).
  • Florida’s 2017 rate of cesarean sections is 37.2 percent , one of the highest state rates in the nation.
  • There were 119,820 live births funded by Florida Medicaid, and C–sections accounted for 36 percent.

Putnam Community Medical Center’s C–section rate in 2017 was well below the 23.9 percent national goal.

Putnam Community Medical Center has actively worked on lowering its primary C–section rate.