Congratulations to Caroline Cohen Carothers, born on January 20, 2017 at CHAMPS hospital Memorial Hospital in Gulfport, Mississippi! Caroline is the beautiful daughter of Jeremy and Janel Carothers of Pass Christian, MS, and just happens to be the first granddaughter of CHAMPS Mississippi Coordinator, Cathy Carothers, BLA, IBCLC, RLC, FILCA. Many CHAMPS participants will know Cathy as the one who developed the CHAMPS 4-hour competency training curriculum and provides it for hospitals across Mississippi, including Memorial Hospital last February 2016.
Caroline’s birth date is especially significant because that was also the day that Memorial Hospital entered the Baby-Friendly pathway! This means that now 100% of Mississippi CHAMPS hospitals are registered with Baby-Friendly and working actively on the designation process. Congratulations!
Cathy reports that Caroline had a wonderful welcome to the world at Memorial Hospital, which began providing skin-to-skin as a standard of care last February 2016 shortly after their training program was completed. Caroline was born after just 3 ½ hours of labor and 5 minutes of pushing! She began skin-to-skin with her mommy immediately while nurses assessed her on her mother’s chest. She stayed in skin-to-skin for around 2 hours and nursed on both breasts, and stayed with her mother and dad for 24-hour rooming-in throughout their hospital stay.
The new parents gave a special shout-out to labor and delivery nurse Sissy Ladner, who they described as “amazing!” According to Jeremy, “Sissy was not only a great delivery nurse that she deserves a ton of credit for, but she really stressed skin-to-skin not only for the first hour. She also helped get Caroline latched and encouraged us to continue skin-to-skin and feeding until we knew Caroline was full and we were 100% ready to bring the family in.” Lactation consultant Maranda Nybo also checked on the new family while Cathy and the family waited in the family waiting room.
Caroline’s daddy was able to hold her skin-to-skin after they got settled in their room. Jeremy and Janel reported that the staff at Memorial Hospital have been “great” and they enjoyed a wonderful hospital experience. Jeremy says the hospital staff also did a great job making him feel welcomed and involved as a dad. He learned how to help Janel with various breastfeeding positions and is an active support for her now that they are home.
“I am SO proud of both Jeremy and Janel,” said Cathy. “They are wonderful parents! I’m also very proud of all the wonderful staff at Memorial Hospital. It was a joy to provide their training last year and to see the light go on in the eyes of the nurses. To see them providing such wonderful evidence-based care to my beautiful grandbaby and her mom and dad just made my heart melt.”
Congratulations to the Carothers family AND to Memorial Hospital for beginning your Baby-Friendly journey! You are truly CHAMPions!
Meshawn Tarver Siddiq, Founder/Executive Officer of H.E.R. Institute, MPH Candidate, and Co-Founder/Volunteer of the CHAMPS NOLA Baby Café™, is this week’s CHAMPion of the Week. The CHAMPS NOLA Baby Café opened June 1, 2016 as Louisiana’s first Baby Café, a vital community resource offering free lactation support to pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Meshawn has been instrumental in starting and running the Baby Café, which meets weekly on Wednesdays in New Orleans. She connected the Baby Café with the National Birth Equity Collaborative (NBEC), which houses the Baby Café in their office free of charge. Currently, she assists mothers alongside Co-Founder/Director Portia Williams, RN, BSN, IBCLC, CCHC, in addition to coordinating grant proposals, establishing partnerships, and developing materials and promotion.
“I’m happy that the Baby Café is in the community bringing more access to a great resource,” Meshawn says. “I love the setup of the Café. It’s very warm and welcoming and, thanks to community partners, we have great resources for the moms…I feel good that the women get professional help, sisterly support and praise for their accomplishments. I am proud that we are creating a model that is going to strengthen the impact of breastfeeding in so many ways.”
Meshawn started working in the field of breastfeeding almost 14 years ago. During that time, she has participated in many breastfeeding programs and initiatives that work both at the individual and policy levels. She is Founder of the Greater New Orleans Breastfeeding Awareness Coalition (GNOBAC) and H.E.R. Institute. Meshawn says she founded the GNOBAC out of a desire to unite breastfeeding professionals to work together in strategic ways. H.E.R. Institute promotes breastfeeding and other health initiatives as they relate to the non-profit’s mission to “inspire, educate and support women and their families along their journey to a healthier life through Health, Education and Research services.” Currently, H.E.R. Institute is partnering with the NBEC, whose mission it is to “reduce Black maternal and infant mortality,” to assist with the education and research aspects of NBEC’s work.
Just as important to Meshawn is her personal promotion of breastfeeding among her family and friends. She reflects, “[Breastfeeding] was unheard of in my family. My mother [and] grandmother [did not] breastfed their children. So I'm happy to be the one who is called in those times.” Meshawn breastfed all 3 of her daughters, and tandem breastfed her last 2, nursing each past their second birthdays and exclusively for the first 6 months.
What does Meshawn love most about the work she does? She shares, “H.E.R. Institute, NBEC and Breastfeeding with Ease, LLC and so many others are working to provide the necessary change [within our community]. I'm a firm believer in collaborations and loyalty, so I love the great black women I work with. They are so awesome!!! We help each other professionally and personally every day. What I love most about the work is how we are building up each other.”
Congratulations to Robin E. Winebar, RN, MSN, CNL, Performance Improvement Coordinator for Women’s Service System at Ochsner Health System! Four of Ochsner Health System’s Louisiana hospitals are currently on the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) pathway: Ochsner Baptist, Ochsner Medical Center-Kenner, Ochsner St. Anne Hospital, and Ochsner Medical Center-West Bank. Robin was nominated as CHAMPion of the Week for her role in helping these hospitals along the pathway, specifically by tracking data at each facility, observing and reporting trends, helping to start processes for audits, and creating quality improvement projects to improve data.
“I am very excited to have joined Ochsner in this journey of becoming Baby Friendly! This designation will benefit all Ochsner facilities in allowing evidence-based practices of breastfeeding to become a standard of care for all our patients,” says Robin.
One of Robin’s innovative quality improvement projects is the BFHI audit book she created to help guide staff through the gray areas of BFHI audits and to help them properly obtain data from these audits. This book helps staff to understand the relevance of audits, how to properly audit patients, how to turn patient answers into data, and how to report data. “Creating a BFHI audit book has allowed staff to effectively interview patients,” shares Robin. “Since patient answers are more clear and concrete, we are able to obtain good data to reflect on and eventually improve.”
Robin also created tally sheets and chart review papers to decrease paperwork and increase organization when interviewing patients. She trained staff to report the data which, she says, “is an essential component of the improvement process [because] they are able to see trends in data from patient interviews and start creating ideas on improving those areas that need work.”
BFHI is only one of many quality initiatives Robin is currently working on for the 5 inpatient maternity service areas and the 11 outpatient clinics within her scope. Robin also has 5 years of Labor & Delivery, Mother/Baby nursing experience, and she has worked in 2 other non-Ochsner facilities who were on their journey to Baby Friendly.
CHAMPS asked Robin what personally motivates her support changes as they relate to breastfeeding. She shared: “I have breastfed both my children and have helped hundreds of women to breastfeed their babies. I truly believe in the many benefits to mother and baby supported in literature. We still have room to grow regarding maternity leave and supporting our breastfeeding mothers at work. I hope as breastfeeding becomes a norm in our society, these hurdles will become less of an issue.”
Ofelia O’Donnell, MSN, RNC-OB, is this week’s CHAMPion of the Week. As Process Improvement Coordinator for Maternal Child Services and CHAMPS Team Lead at William Beaumont Army Medical Center (WBAMC) in El Paso, Texas, it is no surprise that she has been a catalyst for many exciting changes at WBAMC. The hospital recently entered the Designation phase of the 4-D Pathway, and they are gearing up for the final stages of Baby Friendly; they recently received the Texas Ten Steps Designation, a Texas-based program that provides resources and encourages the adoption of Baby-Friendly practices and designation; and this summer, they were awarded the prestigious IBCLC Care Award. We applaud WBAMC and Ofelia for these achievements and their commitment to breastfeeding!
Ofelia’s enthusiasm was evident as she shared WBAMC’s Baby-Friendly journey with CHAMPS: “Our Baby-Friendly journey began in 2014 with MAJ Kimberly Rosenbaum. [It] has been an exceptional learning experience and a great testament to our team work. We greatly appreciate the collaboration and guidance we have received from CHAMPS, particularly Dr. Merewood and Ms. Krane on this wonderful journey [in] making necessary changes to meet the breastfeeding and lactation needs of our patients.”
Despite the challenges that come with seeking Designation, Ofelia said, “The most exciting and rewarding moment has been to not only see the changes we implemented but to hear the confirmation of the changes we have implemented directly from our patients and the positive impact it had on their breastfeeding experiences.” She remarked that it has been incredibly rewarding to witness the excitement of her antepartum and maternal child staff about the new breastfeeding initiatives, and how their training has had positive outcomes for patients. Ofelia added, “It’s exciting to be close to Designation but it is a reminder that we have work to do and must continue the diligent work we started for the benefit of our beneficiaries.”
Ofelia has a Master’s degree in Nursing Systems Management and is certified in inpatient obstetrics. As Process Improvement Coordinator, she is responsible for the development and implementation of departmental process/performance improvement, risk management, patient safety, and Joint Commission survey readiness activities within Maternal Child Services at WBAMC. In addition to these responsibilities, Ofelia is involved in the ARMY-wide Breastfeeding and Lactation Support Team and the ARMY OB Quality, Safety, and Satisfaction Forum Meeting with COL Nancy Parson, Maternal Child Consultant to the Office of the Surgeon General. She is also a member of the Binational Breastfeeding Coalition.
Congratulations, Ofelia! Keep up the great work!
CHEER Champion of the week
Each week, 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).