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ST. LOUIS – The SSM Health St. Mary’s Maternal Transport Team is the most experienced in the region, serving the metro St. Louis and East St. Louis areas and surrounding communities since 2007.

With combined experience of more than 35 years in maternal transport, every mother transported by specialized ground ambulance or helicopter is accompanied by a perinatal nurse and paramedic.

The St. Mary’s team works in collaboration with SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital to serve a 250-mile radius around St. Louis. The highly-trained nurses are experts in taking care of pregnant moms before, during, and after transport. Each nurse completes advanced training beyond obstetrical nursing care.

“There’s a lot of rural parts of Missouri and Illinois that we travel to that just don’t have the resources that they need to properly care for these high-risk patients when they’re pregnant,” Elise Buccheit, the nurse operations manager of women’s services overseeing the Maternal Transport Team, said.

The team specializes in conditions like pre-term labor, high blood pressure, and fetal anomalies.

“There have been so many hospitals around the area that have closed their obstetrics programs. They don’t have the resources. They don’t have the expertise to care for these complex patients and even pregnant moms in general,” Kelley Feeman, a transport nurse with the Maternal Transport Team, said.

“It’s a huge resource for these communities to be able to get those patients to a place that can care for them in the safest manner.”

For a smooth transition from the referring hospital to SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital, nurse experts work closely with our Saint Louis University School of Medicine maternal-fetal medicine specialists to keep the referring hospital, referring physician and family updated on the mother and her baby’s health.

The transport teams also collaborate to provide the highest quality care to patients.

To learn more about the Maternal Transport Team, click here.

The SSM Health Medical Minute airs Wednesdays on News 11 at 7 p.m. and FOX 2 News at 9 p.m.