Congratulations to Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center (SMRMC) on their Baby-Friendly designation! This accomplishment was announced on December 12, 2019, approximately 3 years after they joined the pathway to designation in 2016. Located in McComb MS, SMRMC oversees a Level II NICU and about 813 births per year.
“To be Baby-Friendly is extremely rewarding! Labor and Delivery (L&D) has completely been transformed in the way we practice maternity and infant care, providing a “Family Centered” environment for the mother and baby couplets that deliver on our unit,” states Angela Ferguson-Parker, CLC, and Lactation Team Lead.
When asked about the challenges faced and victories accomplished throughout the process, Angela shared that the culture, work flow, and logistical changes required for their facility to achieve designation was no easy task. She further mentioned that while the slow progression in their data made it tough to remain motivated sometimes, it mostly pushed them to work even harder towards the goal of designation. Angela is proud that they are the 18th hospital in MS and amongst the first 600 hospitals in the U.S. to be Baby-Friendly designated. She is happy that the team faced little to no resistance from moms to the new changes, which made the process easier. She also noted that the increase in staff knowledge about breastfeeding and their desire to assist moms through challenges was a high point.
Since joining the pathway in 2016, the staff approach to providing maternity services has changed. According to Angela, every staff personnel is providing evidence-based education to every mother about the benefits of breastfeeding, risks of formula feeding, the importance of skin to skin and rooming in, and the proper preparation and handling of breastmilk substitutes. They also provide resources for post-discharge assistance and follow up. “All patients are now well-informed and supported to make decisions as to how they choose to feed and care for their babies,” Angela reports.
Furthermore, Angela would like to specially recognize the entire L&D unit, the amazing Breastfeeding Task Force including the CEO, COO, CNO’s, Physician champions -Dr. Richardson, Dr. Artigues and Dr. Nobles-, 4th Floor Gyn. & Peds. unit, Quality Improvement, Public Relations, Education Department, Accounting, Purchasing Department, WIC Representatives, and CHAMPS. She would also like to thank Kim Pace, Nurse Manager of LDRP, for the support, encouragement, motivation, and hard work she put into the entire process.
SMRMC first celebrated their achievement on December 30th. Going forward, they intend to stay up to date on trainings and updated materials to best serve and educate their patients, and take steps to increase the exclusive breastfeeding rates. They will promote, protect, and support breastfeeding while working hard to implement the Ten Steps to successful breastfeeding and uphold the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes.
Congratulations on your designation SMRMC, thank you for your service to mothers and babies in McComb and surrounding areas!
Congratulations to Methodist Olive Branch Hospital in Olive Branch, MS for becoming Baby-Friendly designated on December 12, 2019! Olive Branch has a level II NICU and approximately 650 deliveries per year.
“Becoming a Baby-Friendly Hospital is such a huge accomplishment for our facility! Given the many challenges with our small labor pool and the gravity of this culture change, I am so very proud for our team to have accomplished this goal,” expressed Linda Tuggle, MSN, RNC-OB, and Clinical Director of Maternity Services.
According to Linda, the greatest challenge was the meshing of the prenatal clinics with the hospital’s vision of becoming Baby-Friendly. However, this challenge became their biggest accomplishment, as it facilitated collaboration among all involved entities, towards the goal of becoming designated. In addition, Nicole Jeans, BSN, RN, IBCLC, shared that although they struggled in the beginning with physician and associate buy-in, one of their sweetest successes has been watching those practitioners and associates transform into some of the team’s biggest cheerleaders.
At Methodist Olive Branch, delivering high quality, evidence-based care has always been a priority; this priority is right in line with the Baby-Friendly hospital initiative. Linda shared that the team is very proud to ensure that mothers and babies in their community receive the highest level of care. Nicole reported that it has been very empowering to see the hospital’s breastfeeding exclusivity and initiation rates rise significantly, and to witness the associates advocating for mothers and their breastfeeding goals. “Breastfeeding has become a new norm on the unit, and that is truly a culture change. It is wonderful,” she stated.
Linda and Nicole would like to recognize the entire team for staying the course and doing all the hard work it took to get designated. “It was truly a labor of love for the entire team,” Linda shared. She further expressed an appreciation for Nicole’s investment, time, and efforts, as well as the Baby-Friendly task force members: Pam Young, Tiffany Everett, Brittany Smith, Mari Canizaro, and Catherine Claire Hill.
Now that they are designated, the team looks forward to sustaining their efforts, closely monitoring their data, and growing with Baby-Friendly. “This designation serves as a reminder of the investment we have, not only in our community, but also in the improvement of healthcare for every life we touch,” says Linda. The team hopes to maintain the positive culture change created at Methodist Olive Branch Hospital.
Congratulations Olive Branch! Thank you for your commitment to delivering quality, evidence-based care to mothers and babies in your community.
This Week’s Champion is Dorie Walsh, BSN, RN-MNN. In her role as Transition Nurse for University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), Dorie assumes the care of infants at mother’s bedside within the first 30 minutes of life. She was nominated because of her incredible passion for teaching mothers and helping them to facilitate successful skin to skin and breastfeeding while under her care.
“I have the desire to help each mother and child experience the joy and happiness that breastfeeding offers”, says Dorie. “I really feel that each mother we touch can change a baby’s life.”
Dorie started out her career at Ochsner Foundation Hospital New Orleans, where she worked as an RN from 1988 -1995. After this, she took a break for a few years and returned to work as a full time lactation consultant in 2002. For the next 14.5 years, she worked with the Merit Health System until she joined UMMC as Transition Nurse in 2017.
When asked about her motivation, Dorie replied that her work is motivated by motherhood. Upon the birth of her first daughter in 1990, she knew she would breastfeed because it was free, God given, and the best option for her baby. Over the years, she has learned a lot more about breastfeeding and become even more determined to help facilitate the process for other moms.
As a former IBCLC and an educator at heart, Dorie derives personal and professional fulfillment from helping her patients to breastfeed. “I have a love for teaching!” she shares excitedly. “I’ve been able to teach breastfeeding class, sibling’s class, and help countless moms over my 30 year career with breastfeeding. It has been my true life’s mission and calling.” She described how mothers are usually concerned and discouraged by the idea that they are not producing adequate milk for their babies, and expressed a conviction that these feelings can often be remedied through education and bedside assistance.
Although her career has always centered on newborn care, Dorie believes that it has evolved into something greater. In her current role, she has more opportunity to talk to her patients about why breast is best and how breastmilk is made. She seeks to impart an understanding of the wonder and uniqueness of the process, to empower moms and enable them to appreciate themselves and their bodies.
In addition to all her other accomplishments, Dorie is certified in Maternal Newborn Nursing, an AWHONN member, and a mother to two beautiful daughters.
Congratulations Dorie! Thanks for all your efforts to help mothers navigate challenges associated with breastfeeding.
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).