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Founder of MVH’s Innovative Birthing Center Recognized

Dr. Stephen Guy receives national award and celebrates 25 years delivering babies

Dr. GuyDayton, OH (September 15, 2010) – More than 15 years after opening Miami Valley Hospital’s Family Beginnings Birthing Center, Dr. Stephen Guy, MD, was nationally recognized for his innovative efforts. The award was presented earlier this month in Newport Beach.

The American Association of Birth Centers (AABC) selected Dr. Guy to receive its 2010 Collaborating Physicians Award. Dr. Guy joins a select group of physicians who have been recognized for their contribution to birth centers. AABC looks for a variety of attributes when choosing a physician each year, including someone who actively supports and promotes birth centers as well as plays an active role in their advancement throughout the country.

Dr. Guy, who celebrated his 25th year in obstetrics last month, says the award is an honor and helps validate all the work he has put into creating Family Beginnings and maintaining its accreditation. The birthing center offers a homelike environment for women who want to give birth in a hospital, but with the least amount of medical intervention needed. There are no other accredited centers like it in the state of Ohio.

Dr. Guy helped open the center in 1993, keeping with his convictions that women needed an alternative birth option. He is a strong supporter of natural childbirth and has continued to advocate for a woman’s ability to choose it despite scrutiny from others in his field.
“It is an uphill battle to do something out of the ordinary in what can tend to be a conservative community,” said Dr. Guy, who serves as the center’s director. “We knew we were doing the right thing for the patients all these years, but to have outside recognition is really good.”

Dr. Guy was nominated by several of his colleagues for his role in the center’s formation and continued accreditation, his support of midwifery, and his exemplary qualities as a physician. He was also nominated for his work outside of the hospital to help the less fortunate including several mission trips to places like Haiti and Jamaica.

“He is a gentle teacher and powerful example of true commitment and leadership,” said several of his co-workers in their written nomination. “His patients love him and say they would follow him anywhere. He truly is a joy and inspiration to those who work with him.”

Dr. Guy’s work recently received another nod of recognition when doctors from Yale University visited the center. The university team had heard of MVH’s unique setting and wanted to see if it would be a fit for their own facility. Family Beginnings is unique in that most of the other birthing centers accredited by AABC are freestanding and separate from hospital environments. The association is very careful in what centers it accredits so the fact that MVH has received its approval is a big coup and makes the center a perfect example for others who want to do the same.

“We really have become this nest or cradle of innovation for the rest of the hospitals when it comes to ways to keep moms and babies together with the least amount of medical intervention possible,” Dr. Guy said. “There are a lot of creative things that come out of what we do and even spread to other parts of the hospital.”

The number of birthing centers has grown from 125 in 1984 to 178 in 2006, according to AABC. MVH’s center is one of only five in the country that is located inside a hospital. Dr. Guy is thankful more people recognize the need for birthing centers and understand that they are a safe and effective option for women. To him, Family Beginnings is truly a hidden jewel. Although it may not remain a secret much longer as those in the medical community take note of its proven success.

Dr. Guy has delivered more than 6,000 babies over the past 25 years. He is a Vandalia resident and has office both in Vandalia at Dixie Drive and in Washington Township at Miami Valley Hospital South.