This week’s CHAMPion of the Week is Tanya Hopper, CLC, WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator for the Northwest Mississippi Department of Health, District 1. Tanya has been a very vocal advocate of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) and the CHAMPS initiative. She has a strong relationship with her local hospitals, and her staff have attended all the CHAMPS hospital trainings to discuss the role of WIC as an important resource to hospitals. She has promoted the BFHI with her 5 peer counselors who are helping to prepare mothers for the Baby-Friendly changes occurring at their hospitals.
In the words of CHAMPS Mississippi Coordinator, Cathy Carothers, “Tanya is such a positive ‘on the ground’ force to get out the word of what [CHAMPS is] doing in the community.” We couldn’t do our work without people like Tanya!
Tanya has worked at the MS Department of Health for 15 years, first as a peer counselor and now as a District Breastfeeding Coordinator. Her role entails helping mothers with breastfeeding; teaching breastfeeding classes; providing breastfeeding assessments; ensuring devices are ordered; keeping the budget; seeing a lot of moms with premature babies; distributing pumps; and supervising 5 peer counselors. Tanya and her staff are also on the Baby-Friendly committees at CHAMPS hospitals Methodist Olive Branch Hospital and Merit Health Batesville.
“I’ve been so excited about all the changes that have taken place with all these hospitals [in Mississippi],” says Tanya. “It’s been an answer to prayer, because I’ve wanted these changes for a very long time.” Tanya adds that it is wonderful to hear the excitement from hospital staff when they try something like skin-to-skin for the first time and tell her, “The baby really did crawl to the breast!”
Tanya feels grateful to have such a close relationship with local hospitals. She and her staff meet with breastfeeding mothers in the hospitals, and the hospitals call them if there is a mother they want WIC to see, or if a mother of a premature baby needs a pump. The hospitals also refer mothers to WIC for breastfeeding support post-discharge. Tanya says the hospitals include WIC in everything they do, for example, nurse trainings. CHAMPS asked Tanya what the key is for having a good relationship with hospitals, and she said, “Communicating with the hospitals is really important.” She and her staff are always going to the hospitals to let them know what services they offer. She said it’s important to keep going back, especially because there can be a lot of staff turnover within hospitals.
In addition to collaborating with hospitals, Tanya also collaborates with local community groups Healthy Start, Delta Health Alliance, and Sav-A-Life. Lastly, she works as a CLC at the newly opened Crossroads Baby Café held at Merit Health Northwest Mississippi Medical Center in Clarksdale, MS.
Congratulations, Tanya! You are a true CHAMPion!
Note: This post has been transferred from CHAMPSbreastfeed.org. There was originally 1 comment. You can view it in this document.
Penelope “Penne” Satcher, RN is NICU Nurse and CHAMPS Team Lead at Merit Health Wesley (MHW) in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She has been a NICU nurse for 24 years, and 21 out of those 24 years have been at MHW. Thanks to Penne’s outstanding leadership and the dedicated Baby-Friendly committee, MHW recently moved into the Designation phase of the 4-D pathway!
Penne was especially skilled at leading her team through the Baby-Friendly audit tools of the Dissemination phase, tools which help hospitals track their progress through the 4-D pathway and ensure that standards are being maintained. When CHAMPS asked Penne what advice she has for other hospitals in the Dissemination phase, she offered these ideas: “Consistent communication with the staff is a must for success. I created a 'Baby-Friendly Quick Reference Toolkit' (notebook) for each unit. Each toolkit contains the same information. This is an easy way to keep all updates together and is also easy access for the staff. The toolkit makes it easy to provide specific feedback to the staff.”
Penne shares that MHW has been a leader in LDRP (labor, delivery, recovery, postpartum) since 1995 when they started promoting a family-centered care atmosphere and rooming-in. In addition, Administration at MHW has been very supportive of Women’s Services throughout their Baby-Friendly journey. Nonetheless, Penne says there was room for improvement, and the Baby-Friendly audit tools helped reveal areas to focus on.
Penne and staff worked on those areas, and the changes are now reality. The recent improvements at MHW include: changes to newborn charting to make it easier; one-on-one education with nurses regarding charting; all routine nursing assessments, including discharge procedures, being completed in mom’s room; bi-monthly maternal education classes regarding breastfeeding; and skin-to-skin as the norm after vaginal and cesarean deliveries.
In addition to NICU Nurse and Baby-Friendly Coordinator, Penne is also a member of AWHONN, a fundraiser for March of Dimes, the Administrator for MHW’s Vermont Oxford Network, and one of the Clinical Managers for MHW’s charting system, GE Centricity. She has been a Lead S.T.A.B.L.E. Instructor since 2015 and is currently working on her IBCLC certification.
Congratulations, Penne, and thank you for all your work to support breastfeeding and maternal/child health!
CHAMPS is excited to honor another of our incredible Baby Cafés, the CHAMPS Delta Hills Baby Café™, a trusted resource for mothers and families in Greenville, Mississippi!
“[The CHAMPS Delta Hills Baby Café] is known as the place to get free help with breastfeeding by moms in our community,” says Maggie Allen, IBCLC, who works as a Lactation Consultant at the Baby Café and for the Washington Department WIC office at the Mississippi Department of Health.
Maggie adds that the Baby Café, which opened nearly a year ago on April 27, 2016, has steadily gained recognition. Community agencies and local delivery doctors now regularly recommended the Café to mothers, and flyers for the Café are found in doctors’ offices and every delivery room at nearby hospital, Delta Regional Medical Center. Mothers are also spreading the word about the Baby Café to friends and family who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
5 or 6 mothers attend the Café weekly, which is held on Wednesdays from 11 am – 2 pm at the Greenville Health Department. Family members, including the baby’s grandmother, grandfather, father, aunt or siblings often attend as well.
One of the biggest impacts the Café is having is increasing the breastfeeding confidence and knowledge of mothers and their families. “We love to hear that mothers share things they have learned in the Café with hospital staff when they go in to deliver that are best maternity practices like skin-to-skin, rooming-in, no artificial nipples, and no formula unless medically indicated,” shares Tawanda Logan-Hurt. Tawanda is Director of the Baby Café, the CHAMPS Delta Community & Hospitals Consultant, and District III Breastfeeding Coordinator for the MS State Department of Health.
Family members also benefit from the breastfeeding education that takes place at the Café. One of the greatest universal barriers to successful breastfeeding is lack of support at home by family members. This lack of support often arises from lack of knowledge regarding breastfeeding and its benefits. To invite family members to the Café addresses this major barrier and greatly increases a mother’s chances at success.
Maggie expresses this impact beautifully: “When supporters of moms attend the Café they have the opportunity to ask questions and express their concerns about breastfeeding. When their concerns are answered, it brings a feeling of relief for the mom and us. We receive great joy when a mom sees that she can breastfeed successfully and how she can meet her breastfeeding goals. A mom’s confidence grows as she takes a stand for breastfeeding and encourages other moms to do so also.”
The CHAMPS Delta Hills Baby Café is supported by CHAMPS and the MS State Department of Health WIC Breastfeeding District III. Staff members include Tawanda Logan-Hurt, Maggie Allen, and Jacqueline Lambert, WIC Peer Counselor III.
This week’s CHAMPion of the Week is Marsha Walker, RN, IBCLC, Executive Director of the National Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy (NABA). Marsha has worked as a breastfeeding practitioner, advocate, author and speaker for the past 40 years. We are excited to announce that she is our featured speaker for this week’s CHAMPS webinar, “Code Compliance and Purchasing Formula.” The webinar will take place this Wednesday, March 8 from 11 am – 12 pm Central Time.
In this webinar, Marsha will explain what the International Code for Marketing of Breast-milk (the Code) is, why it is important to adhere to, and some of the subtleties involved. In short, the Code is an international policy set forth by the World Health Assembly and World Health Organization to discourage the marketing of formula and promote breastfeeding, and adhering to it is one of the critical steps for a hospital to become Baby-Friendly designated.
Marsha’s background brings a wealth of knowledge to this subject. NABA is the International Baby Food Action Network organization that monitors the Code in the United States. Most of Marsha’s work at NABA involves staying on top of Code issues, watching for Code violations, consulting with those asking questions about Code compliance, as well as being a resource on Code issues for organizations such as United States Lactation Consultant Association (USLCA), International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA), Kelly Mom, and Best for Babes. She also lectures and writes on Code issues.
In addition to her work at NABA, Marsha serves on the board of directors of the Massachusetts Lactation Consultant Association, on the program committee of Baby-Friendly USA, on the licensure and reimbursement committee of USLCA, and she advocates for the licensure of the IBCLC. In the past she had a large clinical practice at Harvard Pilgrim and served on the board of directors of ILCA, USLCA, Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition, and Baby-Friendly USA. She has authored numerous articles and books on breastfeeding, including the current 4th edition of Breastfeeding Management for the Clinician: Using the Evidence.
What personally motivates Marsha to do this work? She shares: “I think the personal motivation comes from knowing what a profound health impact that breastfeeding has on the population of mothers and infants. Being a part of shaping the future health and well-being of mothers and infants is an honor as well as a rewarding endeavor.”
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).