As National Birth Rates Fall to Record Low, Deliveries at Northwell Health Rise 4 Percent in 2016

On New Year’s Day, Northwell Health celebrated its first birthday, along with Austin Joseph Sparacio, shown with mother Vanessa of Franklin Square. The baby’s birth on Jan. 1, 2016 was featured in Northwell’s introductory advertising campaign.

With the number of American babies born in 2016 expected to fall to the lowest rate in history and birth rates in New York State again remaining flat, Northwell Health projects a 4 percent increase in newborns in 2016. 

“Bringing over 40,000 newborns into the world in 2016 alone is both an honor and a privilege, and something that’s taken very seriously by the highly experienced staff at our 11 hospitals that have maternity programs,” said Michael Nimaroff, MD, interim executive director of obstetrics and gynecology services at Northwell Health. "The goal of everyone associated with these world-class facilities is providing the best clinical care, which is why our outcomes for both mothers and infants are among the best in the nation.”

The Katz Women’s Hospital at Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Medical Center in New Hyde Park saw the largest spike in births in 2016 to more than 9,400 – the largest maternity program in New York State. Other Northwell Health hospitals with significant increases were Southside Hospital in Bay Shore with an 8 percent jump, and Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn with a 7 percent rise.

The increase in births goes against the national trend, where in the first quarter of 2016, the birth rate fell to the lowest rate ever recorded in the United States, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Northwell hospitals account for about 17 percent of all births in New York State and 1 percent nationwide, far surpassing any New York health system. The number of babies born every year at Northwell hospitals would fill Citi Field in Queens.

“Our vision is to provide high-quality care for patients in the communities in which they live and work,” said Dr. Nimaroff. “That is why we are investing about $25 million over the next two years at several of our maternity programs to enhance our commitment to woman’s health and family-centered care, including Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Forest Hills, Huntington Hospital, the Katz Women’s Hospital at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset and Southside Hospital.”

This year, LIJ Forest Hills will be expanding its maternity unit, including the creation of 10 private rooms. The hospital’s newborn nursery and Level 2 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit will also be renovated to create an entire patient- and family-centered maternity unit with a total of 23 beds.

In February, a major renovation project is scheduled to begin at the Katz Women’s Hospital at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, which is adding an operating room, upgrading labor and delivery rooms and expanding the number of triage and post-operative care beds.

Huntington Hospital will be converting all of its maternity rooms to private rooms, creating 17 private suites with full baths that can accommodate family members and the newborn. The hospital will also be adding state-of-the-art monitoring equipment and expanding its nurse midwifery program.  

Southside Hospital is developing plans to expand its labor and delivery and maternity rooms and neonatal intensive care unit to meet the growing demand for maternity services. 

As part of the introduction of its new name on January 1, 2016, Northwell Health launched a robust rebranding campaign by celebrating the birth of Austin Joseph Sparacio of Franklin Square on New Year’s Day, one of the first of about 40,500 babies delivered at Northwell hospitals over the past 12 months. In 2015, Northwell hospitals delivered about 39,000 babies.       

The “Happy Birthday” ad was part of Northwell Health’s extensive rebranding campaign in 2016 -- the most-aggressive marketing push in the 25-year history of the 21-hospital health system. The touching, first-of-its-kind ad debuted on New Year’s Day 2016 and featured emotional footage of Austin and his mother embracing for the first time at LIJ Medical Center in New Hyde Park.

Beginning this week, a new advertising campaign will be launched to celebrate the first birthdays of Austin and Northwell Health – and the many milestones both have reached over the past year.   The new TV ad will air on stations throughout the New York area, including: WABC, WNBC, WCBS and WNYW. The campaign will also include a digital and social media initiative directing viewers to a new Northwell hub page, giving them the opportunity to learn more about the campaign and explore ways they can kick start their journey towards wellness in the New Year. Click here to see the new advertising campaign and wellness page.

In addition to LIJ Medical Center in New Hyde Park, Southside Hospital, Maimonides Medical Center, North Shore University Hospital, Huntington Hospital and LIJ Forest Hills, Northwell has maternity programs at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, Phelps Memorial Hospital Center in Sleepy Hollow, Staten Island University Hospital and Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead. To learn more about Northwell’s obstetrics and gynecology services, click here.

About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 21 hospitals and over 550 outpatient facilities. We care for more than two million people annually in the metro New York area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 61,000 employees – 15,000+ nurses and nearly 3,400 physicians, including nearly 2,700 members of Northwell Health Physician Partners -- are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine and the School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. And we offer health insurance through CareConnect. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit