Our CHEER Champion of the Week is Jennifer Caldwell, MSN, FNP-c, Director of Nursing (DON), Women and Children’s Services at NMMC Tupelo. She was nominated for being an amazing supporter of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) and showing amazing leadership and tenacity in her role as Task Force Lead.
“As a bedside labor and delivery nurse, there's nothing more rewarding that getting to witness the joy of a new mom when her newborn baby is placed on her chest at delivery.”- Jennifer Caldwell
In 2001, Jennifer began her career at NMMC Women’s Hospital as a Labor and Delivery Nurse. Since then, she served in various capacities within the facility until she transitioned into her current role as DON in 2018. In this role, Jennifer began working closely with the BFHI Task Force and oversees data collection for breastfeeding initiation and exclusivity, skin to skin and rooming-in at the hospital. She also assists lactation consultants in compiling audit results and coordinates the monthly task force meetings.
NMMC Tupelo began their journey towards Designation in 2015. After four years of hard work and dedication, it seemed that the team had started to lose faith in their ability to achieve designation. Jennifer sought to boost team morale by reassuring task force members and bedside staff and encouraging proper documentation to reflect their efforts. “It was through the sharing of monthly scorecards that the team began to see their successes and celebrate the things they were getting right,” Jennifer states. “They also began to identify areas for improvement in order to achieve designation.”
When asked what motivates her work? Jennifer expressed a shared commitment to the goal of Baby Friendly. She believes Baby Friendly practices are the right thing for moms and babies and for the health of the community in general. She described how refreshed she feels when a new nurse joyfully talks about her experiences with skin to skin in the delivery room or when lactation nurses share their stories of success in patients who had initially felt defeated by breastfeeding. “It is in these moments, that I find the motivation to improve our efforts and continue our Baby-Friendly journey,” Jennifer reflects.
As Task Force Lead, Jennifer enjoys celebrating the team’s small successes and developing plans for overcoming the next challenge in order to move forward on their designation timeline. She would like to credit her team for the hospital’s progress in the pursuit of baby-friendly designation. She says “I feel very undeserving because I work with such a great team and they have been on this journey much longer than I have”.
In addition to her role at the hospital, Jennifer is an AWHONN member and board certified Family Nurse Practitioner among other achievements. She is a resident of Algoma MS, wife, and mother to two beautiful daughters.
Congratulations Jennifer, thank you for your leadership and dedication in achieving Baby-Friendly Designation at NMMC Tupelo!
Congratulations to North Mississippi Medical Center (NMMC)-Women’s Hospital, in Tupelo, Mississippi on their Baby-Friendly designation. The hospital achieved designation on March 2, 2020 after progressing through the Baby-Friendly Pathway for 4 years. NMMC Tupelo delivers about 1980 babies per year and manages a level III NICU.
“Being designated Baby Friendly feels like we are truly validated for the way most of us had wanted to treat moms and babies anyway! The evidence-based practices give me confidence in what we do, and there is joy in knowing so many other hospitals strive to deliver care the same way.”- Sabrina Ganaway, NICU Lactation Consultant, NMMC Tupelo.
When asked about their journey, the team recounted their experience with gratitude that they were able to make it through. “This has been a long journey for NMMC, but one that is very worth the work,” shared Kaila Reich, Clinical Educator for Mother Baby. They expressed that it was an extensive but rewarding process, which consisted of staff training and implementing practices such as skin-to-skin and rooming-in as the standard of care. By the team’s account, combining the postpartum and nursery to provide couplet care and ensuring rooming-in were the most challenging aspects of their Baby-Friendly Journey. However, they surmounted these obstacles and are proud that they now frequently have rooming-in rates of 100%. Through staff, physician and patient education, they were able to change hospital and community culture around rooming-in.
Furthermore, the process improved collaboration across hospital departments and made them a stronger team in the long run. “The nurses, physicians, and ancillary departments all had to adapt to a new way of delivering care when couplet care was put in place. It took everyone at the table working together but we made it!” Betsy Knight, Lead Nursing Supervisor responded. She believes that the sweetest success is how intuitive it has become for them to help moms with breastfeeding.
The team would like to recognize Director of Nursing, Jennifer Caldwell, who got the staff organized and focused and spearheaded the final push for Baby-Friendly; the nursing staff, who went the extra mile to educate and empower patients to make informed choices; Lactation Nurses, Karen Bishop and Sabrina Ganaway, for their hard work, perseverance, and dedication; and Cheryl Russell, the former Director of Nursing, who led the project at the beginning of the journey.
Going forward, the NMMC Tupelo team intends to work towards sustaining their Baby-Friendly practices by recovering cesarean Sections in the Labor and Delivery unit and improving the skin to skin time for moms and babies of cesarean deliveries. They are optimistic about this next task!
Congratulations NMMC Tupelo, thank you for your hard work in achieving designation and good luck with your future goals!
Today’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Calvin L. Williams, CLC, and President of Lucian Families. Calvin has worked in the fatherhood field for the past 20 years. 5 years ago, he founded Lucian Families, an organization dedicated to supporting parents and families in achieving healthier and more successful relationships. He was nominated for his long standing commitment to the Fatherhood field and collaboration with Reaching Our Brothers Everywhere (R.O.B.E).
“I am driven by my absolute love and confidence in the people we serve. I believed Lucian families would give me a chance to connect with and serve people in the ways my heart tells me to.” – Calvin Williams
Lucian families was birthed from a yearning to engage with people and provide them with the information, resources and support they need. Throughout his career, Calvin has assisted the Oklahoma and Ohio state governments, as well as, various non-profits with designing fatherhood programs. He also co-authored the “On my Shoulders” Curriculum with PREP Inc., Denver Colorado, which focuses on understanding the barriers that men face in fathering and providing possible solutions to those challenges.
Calvin expressed that he is thankful for the connection to Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere (R.O.S.E) as they brought him into the infant mortality and breastfeeding space. “ROSE provided me with the opportunity to serve and provide services to directly improve the lives of Black families,” he shared. He is excited to be participating in Reaching Our Brothers Everywhere (R.O.B.E) and contributing from his wealth of knowledge and experience, around fathers and fatherhood, to positively impact African-American breastfeeding rates and infant mortality.
Calvin’s work is motivated by his experience as a son and father and the healing process required in mending and nurturing those relationships. “Being a father, it is hard to describe the depth of love I have for my son and the experience fathering him, I believe that all people can achieve that type of experience and beautiful connection that one shares as a father,” Calvin stated. He seeks to enable fathers to first and foremost recognize their own gifts and strengths and then activate and utilize those abilities in achieving beautiful fatherhood experiences.
When asked what he enjoys most about his work? Calvin expressed a passion for research and evaluation. He loves researching across fields, synthesizing the information, and creatively translating this into something people can use. He values learning from the people he serves and incorporating their feedback into his programs. “I am excited by seeing people’s eyes and minds open to possibilities,” he shared.
In addition to these accomplishments, Calvin helped start the Ohio Practitioners Network for Fathers & Families 18 years ago. The organization was founded as a gathering of fatherhood practitioners from all over the state to support people working with fathers. They provide education and training to policy makers and work closely with state agencies to help advance the cause of fathers in Ohio.
Congratulations Calvin, thank you for your commitment to fatherhood and healthy families!
This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Alice Chaney Herndon, MSN, RNC-NIC, and Nurse Manager of the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Mother-Baby Unit and WIC/Lactation Services. She was nominated for her consistent leadership in helping the UMMC team to achieve and maintain Baby-Friendly practices. Having worked at the facility for over 14 years, she was the team lead for all things Baby-Friendly and is intimately involved in the ongoing staff education to ensure that competencies are met and maintained.
“Striving to become a Baby-Friendly designated hospital was such a huge undertaking and culture change for us, “she shared. “As a manager, my role has changed from being a bedside nurse, but I am still very involved with my staff and our patients.”
In her current role as Nurse Manager, Alice Chaney’s daily work involves managing about 70 employees and ensuring that moms and babies have a wonderful stay at UMMC. “We want our moms’ birthing and postpartum experience to be a positive one, and we want them to continue to choose us for all of their healthcare needs.”
When asked what she enjoys most about her work, Alice Chaney expressed an appreciation for the constantly changing pace, excitement, and spontaneity that every day at UMMC brings. She loves getting to interact with and care for the patients, the atmosphere at UMMC, and the culture of constantly evolving to keep up with evidence-based practice in order to provide the best patient care. She is motivated by her team and the desire to see her patients have good outcomes. “Helping our mothers have a great experience motivates me. We have some antepartum patients who are with us long term and they become like family” she stated.
When she is not busy being a fantastic leader at UMMC, Alice Chaney enjoys spending time with family and friends. She is also very involved with her community and church through volunteering and community service. Her other activities of choice include shopping, working out, traveling, and going to the beach. She lives with her wonderful husband and 2 little boys who keep her on her toes!
Congratulations Alice Chaney, thank you for your exceptional leadership at UMMC!
CHEER Champion of the week
Each Monday (besides public holidays), we will recognize a CHEER Champion for all the work they have done for CHEER (Center for Health Equity, Education, and Research)/CHAMPS (Communities and Hospitals Advancing Maternity Practices).