Lieutenant Commander Carrie Rigsby, BSN, RN is a nurse at Cherokee Nation W.W. Hastings Hospital in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, a 58-bed facility serving the Cherokee Nation. In 2013, Carrie became the Baby-Friendly Project Lead for her hospital, and forged the path for its designation as the first tribal Baby-Friendly hospital in Oklahoma in July 2015!
Carrie was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, is Native American and belongs to the Cherokee tribe. She has been a nurse for 18 years and her passion has always been obstetrics. Working as Baby-Friendly Project Lead, says Carrie, allowed her to bring her interests of education and health promotion together, and to address health disparities specific to Native Americans:
"I am Native American and belong to the Cherokee tribe and know the struggles we have to fight against diabetes, heart disease and obesity just to name a few. My goal is to provide every family with the education and resources they need to succeed in their breastfeeding goals. I am passionate about breastfeeding because I know that this is the one thing that we can advocate to our moms and babies, giving them a fighting chance against the things that we are up against."
Leading a hospital through the steps to become Baby-Friendly involves major change, which can be difficult for an individual or institution to navigate alone. Carrie wants to thank CHAMPS for recognizing this work that individuals and hospitals are doing, and for supporting them through the process. Carrie hopes to now help other facilities as they seek to become Baby-Friendly. The goal with all this work? As Carrie says, “It really is about our future and promoting healthy lifestyles for generations to come.”
Our newest CHAMPion of the week is Amy Brower, RN! Amy Brower is the CHAMPS Team Lead at Greenwood Leflore Hospital, and since working with CHAMPS, she has setup the Pilot Breastfeeding Club at her hospital and is helping to host one of our 4-hour Clinical Competency trainings. Amy lives in Holcomb, Mississippi, and is the Director of Maternal Health at Greenwood Leflore Hospital. Amy recently received her Bachelor’s Degree from Delta State University, and will also be in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program there beginning in fall of 2015.
Amy loves being part of the CHAMPS team. “I enjoy that I am part of a group whose goal is to educate both patients and healthcare workers in the most up to date evidence based practice.” She also loves giving mothers “a voice to decide how they would like to experience birth and the care of their newborn.”
Amy enjoys reading and spending time with her family, including her 11 year old son, Trey, and her 5 year old daughter, Bella. Amy would one day love to travel to Australia, because the country has always seemed amazing to her, and she would love to learn more about their culture.
Amy’s passion in life is to do her part to “ensure that every female has an optimal birth experience.” Amy feels as if so often, “the event of giving life is overlooked as less than the momentous occasion in which it should be regarded,” and she loves to be there for mothers and to aid them with the care of their newborn as much as possible.
Amy believes that Greenwood Leflore’s biggest accomplishment since joining CHAMPS has been implementing a more “stringent rooming-in culture” in their facility, a change from their previous mindset of “the newborn is automatically separated from their mother for a good portion of their hospital stay.” As CHAMPS continues, Amy expects that “‘CHAMPS’ will become more common in everyone’s vocabulary due to our active participation in advancing healthcare of women and newborns.”
Note: This post has been transferred from CHAMPSbreastfeed.org. There was originally 1 comment. You can view it in this document.
Congratulations to our newest CHAMPion, Leanne Murray! Since Hancock Medical Center enrolled with CHAMPS, Leanne has been a huge motivator in their push to increase skin-to-skin rates. Leanne currently runs simulations for Labor and delivery staff to learn about and to get comfortable with practicing skin-to-skin. Leanne also aided in creating and unveiling the Lactation Station at Hancock Medical, a comfortable, designated breastfeeding room created for the privacy of mother and baby.
Leanne is a Registered Nurse at Hancock Medical Center, and is also pursuing her graduate degree in the Family Nurse Practitioner program at the University of Southern Mississippi. Prior to graduate school, Leanne obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the Mississippi University for Women and her Associate’s degree in Nursing from Pearl River Community College.
Leanne lives in Bay Saint Louis, MS, with her husband, Alex, and their two black labs, Susie and Abbie. Her hobbies include running, cooking, reading, and traveling. If she could travel anywhere in the world, Leanne would travel to the Croatian Coast for its “beautiful landscapes” and “delicious seafood creations.” She would “like to travel there before it becomes too popular and loses some of its charm!”
Leanne loves being part of the CHAMPS team because of the support it offers, stating, “The access to information, team members, and other resources is wonderful and I love working with a team that is this passionate about Women's health!” Leanne expects that as the CHAMPS program continues, Hancock Medical will continue to work toward achieving their goals of increased community support for breastfeeding mothers and making skin-to-skin and breastfeeding the norm throughout their hospital.
Note: This post has been transferred from CHAMPSbreastfeed.org. There were originally 5 comments. You can view them here and here.
Ashley Smith, RN, IBCLC, born and raised in Memphis Tennessee, works at Regional One Health Hospital as Nurse Coordinator for the Lactation Department, with a background in Labor and Delivery. She attended the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and University of Memphis prior to completing the nursing curriculum from Methodist Hospital School of Nursing in Memphis, TN. Before Ashley’s arrival to Regional One Health (ROH) in 2007, the breastfeeding rate in the 69 bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was virtually nonexistent. After discovering this, Ashley and the hospital’s Medical Director devised a need-based program to provide breast pumps to NICU mothers, dramatically improving the breastfeeding rate in the unit. Since then, the breastfeeding rate has climbed so that an average of 90% of the Very Low Birth Weight babies receive their mother’s milk. She is now trying to replicate the success in the NICU hospital-wide.
Ashley is actively involved in many quality improvement projects, including the Vermont Oxford Network (VON) and Tennessee Initiative for Perinatal Quality Control (TIPQC). She believes her facility’s partnership with CHAMPS will encourage the general public to actively promote and support breastfeeding. Since working with CHAMPS, Ashley has seen enthusiasm spreading throughout ROH around the 10 Steps to become Baby-Friendly. She is also very excited about the success of the “Train the Trainer” event that CHAMPS provided at ROH in May, where 52 participants from Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee learned about implementing Baby-Friendly staff education requirements.
Ashley seeks to live a happy, healthy, meaningful life. In her free time, she loves to read and be outdoors. Quite appropriately, if she could pick anywhere in the world to travel, she would go to a quiet beach and read while listening to the waves. Ashley also loves to spend time with family and friends, and has two children, Luke (19 years old) and Lydia (16 years old).
Ashley enjoys being part of a team and learning from others' experience and expertise; she is "very thankful for CHAMPS,” as they are “the support and reassurance that our facility needed to begin truly working on becoming Baby-Friendly." Ashley hopes that CHAMPS will continue to provide educational and hospital to hospital support as time goes on.
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).