KANSAS CITY, Mo., Oct. 2, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cerner is pleased to announce a strategic relationship with Shawnee Mission Medical Center and TMC Lakewood that will focus on providing a new, enhanced maternity experience in Kansas City. This marks the first maternity initiative of its kind in the nation, putting Cerner at the forefront of innovative maternity programming and underscoring the company's vision to transform health care. "Within Cerner, we have a lot of new Cerner parents and growing families each year. We saw a unique opportunity to partner strategically with two health systems that have taken maternity care to the next level and have the ability to deliver an experience unlike any other," said Julie Wilson, Cerner's Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer. Believing there was a way to improve infant and maternal health outcomes and transform the continuum of personalized maternal care, while managing rising health care costs for its associates, Cerner sought out strategic relationships in the Kansas City area. These health systems have been named Cerner Certified Maternity Partners and will support Cerner's comprehensive maternity initiatives from pre-conception to return-to-work, redefining the role a health system provider plays in an employer setting. "This initiative was born out of a vision for a first class experience every step along the way. We identified opportunities where we could optimize around the family and better align incentives to facilitate the best possible outcome and experience," said Arielle Bogorad, Director of Benefits and Wellness at Cerner. Cerner has selected Shawnee Mission Medical Center (SMMC) and TMC Lakewood (TMCL), two partners who share the vision for improving quality, experience and cost, after a city wide, year-long selection process. "While there are many fine places to deliver in Kansas City, these two organizations stood out from the crowd from the beginning demonstrating an uncommon commitment to our shared values. We are encouraged that we have solidified a unique and effective relationship which will have significant clinical impacts and improve the overall quality of care. We feel this model will be one that is studied and replicated across the nation," said Dr. David Nill, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer with Cerner.