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Women & Children Research

Saint Luke’s Health System delivers more babies than any other health system in Kansas City, and its flagship, Saint Luke’s Hospital, has delivered babies for more than a century. Saint Luke’s Hospital’s maternal fetal medicine offers the area’s highest level of perinatal care for expectant moms who are considered high-risk and a level IIIb NICU, which promotes best outcomes for tiny babies.​

In 2015, Saint Luke’s launched its Heart Disease in Pregnancy Program, a collaborative effort between the Maternal-Fetal Medicine program and Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute (MAHI). The multidisciplinary program helps women living with heart disease or structural heart issues have the healthiest pregnancy and safest delivery
possible. Throughout the pregnancy, patients receive care from a maternal-fetal medicine physician and a cardiologist and consult with a specialty trained anesthesiologist about delivery pain management. During labor and delivery, cardiovascular and maternity nursing teams constantly monitor the patient and baby. This specialized level of care offers more women living with heart disease the chance to safely deliver a healthy baby.

Karen Florio, D.O., of Saint Luke’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine Center at Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City, and Laura Schmidt, M.D., of MAHI, are collaborating on Perinatal Outcomes in Women with Cardiac Disease. This project evaluates the obstetrical, fetal, neonatal, and long-term maternal outcomes in women with various underlying cardiac disorders, including cardiomyopathy and myocardial infarction. The research is funded by the Saint Luke’s Foundation.

Dr. Florio is involved in two additional ongoing studies:

  • The Impact of Vaginal Progesterone and Pessary Placement on Vaginal Flora in the Second Trimester in Women with Shortened Cervical Lengths aims to see if progesterone causes a change in vaginal flora. Progesterone has been found to have an effect on inflammation as evidenced by a decrease in vaginal levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6, a cytokine involved in inflammation and infection responses).
  • A Comparison of Vaginal Progesterone and Vaginal Progesterone with Pessary Placement in the Prevention of Preterm Birth: A Retrospective Analysis is ongoing.

Contact us

For more information about Saint Luke's Women & Children research, call 816-932-3584.