U.S. struggles with maternity care, but Atlanta has some of the best

Newsweek ranking recognizes hospitals in Atlanta, Augusta, Johns Creek, Athens and Canton

President Joe Biden visited Georgia — a state where pregnancy-related deaths are at a 10-year high — a month ago to discuss the country’s worsening maternal mortality rate in a push to improve women’s access to health care. According to Newsweek, however, there are seven hospitals in the Peach State that offer exceptional maternity service.

“The ranking is based on a nationwide online survey of hospital managers and medical professionals (regarding areas like perinatal care and operative obstetrics) as well as publicly available data from hospital surveys addressing the patient experience (including topics such as cleanliness and communication about medication),” the news outlet reported.

“Data on hospital quality metrics — like the number of elective deliveries and level of personnel vaccination — was provided from several sources, including nonprofit hospital accreditation organization The Joint Commission, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Health Resources and Services Administration,” it continued.


Three Atlanta hospitals earned ribbons — a feat awarded to only the 404 best U.S. medical facilities — this year: Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown and Northside Hospital Atlanta. Along with its Athens center, Piedmont’s facilities were the only Georgia hospitals to earn five out of five ribbons this year.

Johns Creek

Emory Johns Creek Hospital earned four of five ribbons for its Birth Place Services, which lauds itself for having “state-of-the-art technologies, comforting amenities, and educational resources to fully support expectant families in welcoming new life into the world.”


Canton’s Northside Hospital Cherokee took home four of five ribbons. The community hospital features 1,400 physicians, 3,800 employees and 332 beds.


Athens’ 427-bed Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center earned five of five ribbons. Founded in 1919, the nonprofit facility also features A level III neonatal intensive care unit.


University Medical Center is the only hospital in Augusta to make the list. The 520-bed facility earned four of five ribbons.

When it comes to maternity care, the U.S. arguably has quite a lot of work to do. In 2020, the Commonwealth Fund ranked America in last place among 10 other developed countries — citing high mortality rates and a lack of health care providers. Also, according to a report published in the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vital Signs, 20% of women surveyed last year reported mistreatment while receiving maternity care.