Dr. Samira Brown, MD is the Newborn Nursery Medical Director, General Academic Pediatrics Section Head, and CHAMPS Pediatrician Physician Lead at Ochsner Baptist Medical Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was nominated as CHAMPion of the Week for her enthusiastic and knowledgeable support of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, and for her outstanding help during a recent CHAMPS site visit at Ochsner Baptist!
Samira shares, “It feels great to be at this point [in our Baby-Friendly journey]. Though we know we have some areas to improve, this is the beauty of practicing medicine—always striving to be better and finding new ways to provide the best care. Our team is energized and continuing to work hard.”
As CHAMPS Pediatrician Physician Lead, Samira’s role has entailed updating Ochsner’s general pediatricians and specialists on Baby-Friendly policies; ensuring education has been completed; helping to review educational materials for staff, physicians, and families; helping to create templates and order sets to ensure Ochsner is Baby-Friendly compliant; and seeking feedback from families and staff to create a positive experience for all.
Samira describes the Baby-Friendly journey at Ochsner Baptist as an “incredible” one, involving teamwork at every level. The Lactation Team led by Cynthia Boudreaux, nurses, attending physicians and resident physicians have all collaborated, and have received valuable support from their CEO, Dawn Anuszkiewicz, and her executive team. This teamwork, says Samira, has broadened to the entire Ochsner hospital system as they strive to make their hospitals Baby-Friendly.
While every team member is essential, physicians play a unique role in supporting a hospital to become Baby-Friendly. CHAMPS asked Samira what her advice to other physicians would be in terms of getting involved in the Baby-Friendly process. She said, “Having a physician come in and help lead the education with the evidence behind Baby-Friendly, and actively model the culture change is crucial. Whether a pediatrician, OB, anesthesiologist or other specialist, this is one of the most important steps in getting everyone on board.”
Congratulations, Samira! It is great to be working with you!
Tiffani Grant, MS, RDN, LD is Director of the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity (DNPAO) for the Mississippi State Department of Health’s (MSDH) Office of Preventive Health. She directs all programs, policies, systems, and environmental changes within schools, worksites, childcare settings, and farmers’ markets as they relate to nutrition, physical activity, and obesity. Her mission is to reduce obesity in the state of MS, and breastfeeding is one of the areas that falls within her domain.
With the help of CDC funding, Tiffani and her Division sponsor and participate in several breastfeeding initiatives. Tiffani’s team consists of her Division staff and Lydia West, MPH, RDN, LD, a consultant from the Mississippi Public Health Institute. Under Tiffani’s leadership, they put on the biannual “Breastfeeding in Mississippi: Empowering Communities and Hospitals” workshop. For more information about the upcoming May 24, 2017 workshop, email Tiffani at Tiffani.Grant@msdh.ms.gov. They also help worksites establish lactation rooms; participate in MS Breastfeeding Coalition’s breastfeeding lunches; work with state agencies on policies for mothers returning to work; ensure that professional meetings have lactation rooms available; and participate in monthly statewide breastfeeding calls. One of the exciting and new initiatives DNPAO is currently developing is a breastfeeding support referral system between hospitals and communities. It will be an online resource guide, possibly an app, for all women to access breastfeeding support.
Tiffani has partnered with CHAMPS by facilitating the continuing education units (CEUs) for all CHAMPS competency-based trainings in the state of MS. Tiffani saves hospitals the time it takes to facilitate CEUs, and the CEU fees are absorbed through MSDH. We appreciate MSDH and Tiffani for all they have done; it is a great gift and benefit to the hospitals!
Tiffani has also attended many CHAMPS training events and conferences held in MS. Tiffani says, “What I enjoy most about [these events] is that they are very hands-on. They are an opportunity to network and for people to really connect with their peers and hear from their peers...People leave wanting to hear more, do more; they leave energized about breastfeeding.”
Breastfeeding culture in MS, Tiffani believes, is changing for the better. “I really like how all the communities across the state are really collaborating,” she says. State-based initiatives such as the MS Perinatal Quality Collaborative, WIC, La Leche League, MSDH, and CHAMPS talk together on monthly statewide calls and see how they can partner together. Tiffani says it is “heartwarming” to see this collaboration and that “support is now expanded.” She is also seeing more breastfeeding among the general public, another example of positive change in the culture.
Tiffani’s dream is that one day, breastfeeding will be “the norm” in MS, and not the “abnorm.” She wants people to say, ‘That’s what’s you're supposed to do’ versus, ‘why are you doing that?’”
Congratulations, Tiffani! Keep up the good work!
This week’s CHAMPion of the Week is the Mississippi Breastfeeding Coalition (MSBFC) in Jackson, MS! MSBFC has been a great partner of CHAMPS’ from the beginning. When CHAMPS first started, MSBFC sent out our original information to their membership to get the word out, and they have promoted virtually everything we have done!
MSBFC is one of the main, centralized places in MS pooling resources and supporting breastfeeding. Their current 2016- 2020 strategic planning goals include: (1) Provide and promote education of health providers to advance Baby-Friendly® Initiatives in Mississippi. (2) Increase the number of skilled lactation professionals in the state. (3) Create a culture of breastfeeding in Mississippi. (4) Strengthen the MSBFC and expand its reach.
MSBFC is a 501c3 and was formed in 1997. It has a wonderful website with tips and resources for parents, providers, and workplaces. It is advocacy-driven, and lists the relevant breastfeeding laws in MS so all parties can be informed.
Jameshyia B. Thompson, PhD, RDN, LD, President of MSBFC and Deputy Bureau Director for the MS State Department of Health WIC Program, shares her vision for breastfeeding in MS: “It is my vision to see breastfeeding rates in Mississippi improve and breastfeeding become the norm for infant and child feeding. It is my dream to walk in any business or restaurant on any given day or time and not be surprised to see a mother breastfeeding. This represents a community where breastfeeding is accepted as the norm and mothers can be at ease knowing they are doing what is best for their babies.”
She has been excited to see the increase in the number of breastfeeding professionals in MS, and says that access to IBCLCs and CLCs is imperative for mothers to receive the breastfeeding support they need.
Jameshyia invites Coalition and community members to attend MSBFC meetings, held every second Thursday (location rotates between various hospitals and organizations in the Jackson area). At these meetings, Coalition and community members work toward strategic goals, gather information regarding breastfeeding activities happening in and out of the state of MS, network with breastfeeding advocates, and receive education and training on current issues related to breastfeeding.
She also invites community members to consider becoming Coalition members. “We need the support of every person in the state of Mississippi,” Jameshyia says. “Becoming a member is easy. Please visit our website at http://msbfc.org and join by selecting the Membership icon.”
Congratulations, MSBFC! It is great to be partnering with you!
Stephanie Gable, RN, IBCLC, RLC is a private practice lactation consultant and the owner of Gulf Coast Breastfeeding Center, LLC (GCBC) in Pass Christian, Mississippi. She helps mothers with their breastfeeding questions and challenges through consultations in her office, at mothers’ homes, via Skype/FaceTime, or on the phone. She also offers group and private prenatal breastfeeding classes. Stephanie works closely with local lactation professionals, and hospitals and pediatricians often refer patients to her post-discharge.
When Stephanie opened GCBC in November, 2014, it was the only freestanding breastfeeding center in MS at the time. She started it out of a desire she heard from mothers to receive post-discharge breastfeeding support in a non-hospital setting. The testimonials on GCBC’s website speak to the crucial support mothers with significant breastfeeding challenges have received from Stephanie over the years.
“Each mother and baby is unique and a one-size-fits all approach often isn't what mothers need,” Stephanie says. “I absolutely love to help mothers find answers to their concerns, challenges, and/or questions so that they meet, and/or exceed their breastfeeding goals. I enjoy nothing more than to have mothers leave our consultation feeling hopeful and empowered.”
Stephanie has been an RN for 28 years, and 27 of those years have been in maternal/child nursing (in NICU, postpartum, newborn nursery, pediatrics, and lactation settings). She started her lactation career at Bush Naval Hospital in Twentynine Palms, California, where she was the staff IBCLC. She worked for 13 years at Memorial Hospital Gulfport (MHG) in Gulfport, MS. Stephanie shared that during her last 3 years at MHG, she trained over 200 RNs and saw the rate of exclusive breastfeeding increase from 1% to 74% from simply educating the staff on the basics of breastfeeding. She also wrote an essay that won Medela’s National Prematurity Awareness Contest grand prize of $10,000, which was given to MHG’s NICU for the purchase of double electric pumps, supplies and educational materials. The essay was about MS’s prematurity rates and how MHG’s NICU was implementing best practices to ensure their babies received breast milk whenever possible.
In addition to consulting through GCBC, Stephanie is a depot for the Mothers' Milk Bank of Mississippi and a per diem RN at CHAMPS hospital Hancock Medical Center in Bay St. Louis, MS, where she participates on their Baby-Friendly committee.
CHAMPS loves highlighting individuals and groups in the community, and Stephanie is one of those key community resources who makes a profound difference to breastfeeding mothers on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast!
CHEER Champion of the week
Each Monday (besides public holidays), we will recognize a CHEER Champion for all the support they have provided for CHEER, CHAMPS, or the general public.