SYRACUSE N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — St. Joseph’s Health Hospital is getting national recognition for the safety and quality of its maternity care.

It’s the only hospital in Syracuse to be recognized as one of the best hospitals for maternity care by U.S. News & World Report, The Leapfrog Group, and now Newsweek.

Mary Ann Dwyer has been delivering babies for 37 years. “I feel like it’s a privilege to be part of their birth every single time,” she said.

Dwyer has been working at St. Joe’s for this long because of the care they offer patients.

“The focus is the baby and the skin to skin,” said Dwyer.

It helps regulate everything from temperature and blood sugar to the baby’s breathing. That initial touch creates a long-lasting bond between the mom and baby.

The focus at St. Joe’s is keeping newborns out of a nursery and with mom around the clock.

“Babies get to know their moms. It’s the security of having their person right there,” said Nursing Director for Womens and Infants, Heather Shimer-Bero.

Over the 32 years Shimer-Bero has been here, she’s seen first-hand what sets them apart, like their fetal medicine, deliveries that mimic a home birth, and a level 3 NICU where they center on kangaroo care.

We put them right on the mother’s chest, skin to skin, and we wrap them really tight and they use their mother for regulation. It helps mature a NICU baby a little bit faster.

Heather Shimer-Bero

Now, Syracuse Midwives is merging with the hospital, taking their care to the next level.

“They might connect with patients in a way that the physicians might not always have time — if they have to go off to surgery. So that’s been a real asset for us,” said Dwyer. “It just makes it so it’s more homey for them.”

The core of their care, supporting moms and babies, making them feel at home until they’re ready to go home.