Congratulations to The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas, for achieving Baby-Friendly designation on February 6, 2018! The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio was part of the first wave of the CHAMPS South program during 2015-2017, along with 2 other CHRISTUS Health hospitals in Texas. There are now 3 Baby-Friendly CHRISTUS Health hospitals in Texas with more on the way! The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio is a large, teaching hospital with approximately 1,000 births per year and a level 4 NICU.
“We are so excited to become a Baby-Friendly designated hospital. It is such a great accomplishment for all of our staff and hospital to have changed our practices to provide the Gold Standard in Maternity Care,” says CHAMPS Team Leader Jennifer White, RN, IBCLC, RLC.
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio began their Baby-Friendly journey in March 2015 after gaining support from their administration, and they partnered with CHAMPS from the beginning.
“CHAMPS was instrumental in helping us guide our practice changes and developing policies,” Jennifer says. “The monthly data collection was so important for us to see how our changes were affecting our outcomes. Having CHAMPS conduct our mock survey was one of the most helpful exercises we did to prepare for the Baby-Friendly USA survey.”
All Baby-Friendly journeys have their challenges, and Jennifer says their toughest were getting the required education for all their staff and developing an education program for their affiliated clinics. However, it was all worth it now that they are celebrating their sweetest success, improved breastfeeding outcomes.
What is Jennifer’s advice to other hospitals seeking Baby-Friendly designation? “Persevere and know that the culture change takes time. Don't get discouraged. Reach out to other hospitals and peers that have been through this process already. We had 2 hospitals in our system that have been recently designated in the last year and they were a great resource and so willing to help us by sharing information and resources.”
Congratulations, Children’s Hospital of San Antonio! You did it!!
Congratulations to Maudicella Rodriguez, the 1st place winner of CHEER's "Benefits of Breastfeeding for Child, Mother, Community and Future of Chippewa Cree People" Essay Contest! The essay contest was open to Box Elder High School and Rocky Boy High School students from grades 6-12.
Maudicella is a member of the Chippewa Cree Tribe and a senior at Box Elder High School in Box Elder, Montana. Her hobbies are reading and running. Maduicella attended a CHEER presentation on breastfeeding on the Rocky Boy Reservation, after which the presenter encouraged students to submit essays. She plans on attending Montana State University in the Fall of 2018.
Here is a link to Maudicella's winning essay. Great job, Maudicella, and best wishes for your future!
Congratulations to Beneta Burt, MPPA, Executive Director of Mississippi Roadmap to Health Equity, Inc., for her inspiring leadership in making Jackson, Mississippi a healthier place! A one-stop facility for wellness, Mississippi Roadmap offers a wide array of services, including a free fitness center, a community garden, healthy cooking classes, computer and job search training, a mobile farmer’s market, and a newly opened Baby Café to support breastfeeding mothers. The non-profit also recently acquired management of a 9-hole golf course to teach landscaping job training to non-college-bound high school graduates.
Mississippi Roadmap grew out of discussions Beneta and her community steering committee had with community groups starting 15 years ago.
“The main question we asked was, ‘Why is it that African-Americans get sicker and die sooner than those in the general population?” Beneta shares. “Through concept mapping, we asked an economically advantaged community group and an economically disadvantaged community group and got very different answers. The economically advantaged group said things like, ‘People need to eat healthier and exercise more.’ And the economically disadvantaged group said things like, ‘Buying healthy food is very expensive. People want to exercise but they are afraid to. Many neighborhoods do not have sidewalks and it’s dangerous to go out at night. They do not feel socially comfortable in many gyms and fees are costly.’”
From there, Beneta and her committee created concept maps, came up with possible interventions, and secured funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, still their primary supporter. The group started services in response to the community’s needs and remained flexible in terms of adjusting services, adding related services, and advocating for change within outside groups.
Thanks to a BUILD Health Challenge grant, Mississippi Roadmap is now encouraging breastfeeding through its new “Sipps Baby Café,” which opened in January 2018. The primary Baby Café location is the Mississippi Roadmap facility at 2548 Livingston Road in Jackson, where the Mississippi Breastfeeding Coalition also meets. Plans are underway to open a satellite facility next year at nearby Lanier High School to serve pregnant teens.
Mississippi Roadmap offers several amenities that can attract mothers to participate in the Baby Café, including free fitness center memberships and a children’s gym. Within the same facility, these moms can also visit the Health Kitchen to take healthy cooking classes and the Next Generation Learning Lab to improve their skills. WIC has its office within the same vicinity, facilitating easy referrals. Mississippi Roadmap is partnering with The University of Mississippi Medical Center, The Mississippi Department of Health, and other health centers to staff the Café. Beneta’s staff also participated in a ROSE Community Transformer training to increase their knowledge of how to offer breastfeeding support.
Beneta believes it takes “persistent involvement in a community to make it better.” She is former Chair of the Jackson Chamber of Commerce and a member of many community boards. Former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Urban League of Greater Jackson, she launched job-training programs for disadvantaged workers and started a community technology center. She also served as Director of the Governor’s Office of Economic and Community Development under former Governor Ray Mabus, and was elected president of the Jackson Redevelopment Authority Board of Directors, which oversees city economic development projects.
“Issues of health and wellness are crucial in having a vibrant community and healthy workforce,” says Beneta. “Communities must become proactive to increase opportunities to be as healthy as possible. We see Mississippi Roadmap as a community-driven health movement dedicated to inspiring the hearts and minds of an entire community to work together in making the difference that no one individual or institution can do alone.”
Congratulations, Beneta! CHEER applauds your work and vision!
Congratulations to the Blackfeet Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), for launching the first Diabetes Prevention Program in Blackfeet Nation! The Blackfeet DPP, housed at the Southern Peigan Health Center in Browning, Montana, is an evidenced-based program to help people with prediabetes prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. The program focuses on lifestyle changes such as improving nutrition, increasing physical activity, and losing a small amount of weight. CHEER provided the first 6 months of technical assistance to get this program established.
“This program is vital for Blackfeet Nation because there is a huge epidemic of diabetes here in our community and there is a need for more education and prevention programs such as the Blackfeet DPP,” comments Michelle Brown, Blackfeet DPP Acting Director.
The Blackfeet DPP uses the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national “Prevent T2” curriculum. This curriculum has been shown to cut the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in half. Participants receive support, guidance, and encouragement from a trained lifestyle coach in a group setting. Together, they explore how healthy eating, activity, a small amount of weight loss and other behavior changes benefit their health. Participants also receive guidance on developing a plan for improving and maintaining their overall well-being. This is a 12-month program with a total of 24 sessions.
The Blackfeet DPP’s goal is to maintain at least 2-3 cohorts per year with 15-20 participants per cohort, and they are working on a great recruitment and retention plan. September 5, 2017 was the start of their first cohort.
“We are having a blast facilitating the Blackfeet DPP and the most exciting part of it all is we can see our participants’ lifestyle behaviors changing for the better. Our participants are enjoying the sessions and are eager to learn and share with each other their struggles and successes,” shares Michelle.
In addition to directing the Blackfeet DPP, Michelle is a Lifestyle Coach (nutrition emphasis) and the Data Manager for the Blackfeet DPP. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and is working toward taking the Registered Dietitian exam. Christy Calf Boss Ribs is a Blackfeet DPP Lifestyle Coach and she also collects participants’ weight and activity logs. James Evans is a Blackfeet DPP Lifestyle Coach (physical activity emphasis) and a participant liaison. These are the people making the Blackfeet DPP happen, and their dream for the future is to develop a Diabetes Prevention Program for children under the age of 18.
Well done, Blackfeet DPP, and best wishes for the future!
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).