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Excela Health Recognized on Hepatitis B Birth Dose Honor Roll

GREENSBURG, PA, August 31, 2018 …The best way to protect newborn babies from Hepatitis B is vaccination. Excela Health and the Family Additions Maternity Center at Westmoreland Hospital provide Hepatitis B vaccinations to newborns within hours of delivery. Through this patient safety initiative, the hospital has been recognized by the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) on its nationwide honor roll. Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital is one of 407 hospitals in the United States to achieve this distinction, with a 91% reported hepatitis B birth vaccine coverage rate from January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2017.

Each year an estimated 22,000 infants are born to women in the United States
who are infected with the Hepatitis B virus. The perinatal transmission of the Hepatitis B
virus poses a serious threat to infants, potentially leading to chronic infection.

On July 16, 2013, the IAC launched the Hepatitis B Birth Dose Honor Roll. The
Honor Roll recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that have attained high coverage
rates for administering the Hepatitis B vaccine at birth.

The Hepatitis B virus can enter the bloodstream, attack the liver, and cause
serious damage. When newborns are infected, the virus usually remains in the body for
a lifetime (this is called chronic Hepatitis B). According to the CDC, 780,000 people die
each year from Hepatitis B complications. The Hepatitis B virus is spread by contact
with an infected person’s blood or body fluids.

The Excela Health Pharmacy offers families booster shots for tetanus, diphtheria,
flu, and pertussis (whooping cough) as part of newborn care in the Family Additions
Maternity Center. The program was started in March 2013 as a part of the health
system-sponsored childbirth education classes.

To view the complete list of hospital and birthing centers on the Honor Roll visit: and to learn more about the
Family Additions Maternity Center visit:

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