Congratulations to Dr. Melynda Noble, M.D. FAAP, our CHEER Champion of the Week. Dr. Noble is the Pediatric hospitalist and Chief of Pediatrics at Greenwood Leflore Hospital (GLH). She was nominated for her incredible efforts to promote the Baby-Friendly initiative at that hospital. Few hospitals in Mississippi have physicians leading their Baby-Friendly work, so Dr. Noble stands out in her commitment to evidence-based maternity practices and breastfeeding support.
In her role as a pediatric hospitalist, Dr. Noble takes care of newborns and pediatric patients, especially the sick babies. During the ongoing pandemic, she has addressed issues and concerns over maternal COVID-19 infections and the risk to newborns. Thankfully, COVID has not had a huge impact on their pediatric patient population, and only a few children required hospitalization.
“Every day is different. I enjoy that we work as a team at GLH, be it on the Baby-Friendly Initiative or a critically ill newborn. Team work is what makes it all possible.” – Dr. Melynda Noble
Dr. Noble has worked in the Mississippi Delta for 12 years. She is very passionate about her work and loves the constantly changing environment that has enabled her to practice everything she learned during her residency. As a BFHI champion at GLH, Dr. Noble is excited that the hospital has turned the corner from caring for newborns to teaching mothers to care for their newborns! “I have to say I am most proud of the way our nursing staff has undertaken all these changes,” she reflects. “I have no doubt that mothers now leave this hospital well educated on the care of their newborn.”
When asked for vignettes she would like to share, Dr. Noble emphasized the importance of team work, delegation, and leadership in achieving Baby-Friendly. “When I was exploring the initiative, I liked what I saw, so I asked the Child Life Coordinator, Kerri Grossman, to help. Though she was filling many other roles in the hospital, she agreed and led the way. She has since become a prenatal education expert and gotten more involved with anything breastfeeding-related in our community. Kerri motivates me to keep moving forward with this Baby-Friendly work.”
Dr. Noble partners with the Delta Health Alliance on the Delta Breastfeeding Coalition. She shares that the coalition was the inspiration behind GLH’s lactation room for employees and visitors, and she hopes the hospital will have a Baby Café one day when it is safe to do so.
Congratulations Dr. Noble, thank you for your leadership and commitment to evidence-based maternity practices and breastfeeding support!
Congratulations to CHEER CHAMPion of the Week, Kimberly Moore, RN, and Director of the Women’s Center for NMMC Gilmore-Amory! In her role as director, Kimberly maintains the Baby-Friendly hospital initiative and the MS Perinatal Quality Collaborative (MSPQC) bundles. She also oversees the labor and delivery, NICU, nursery, and postpartum units; among other duties.
During the pandemic, NMMC Gilmore-Amory put many policies, such as visitor limitations, in place to help protect staff and patients Though they only had one COVID positive mother deliver at their facility, Kimberly says the visitation restrictions “seems to have helped mothers the most” because “the mothers get rest and bond more with the newborn.” She has also led the charge as the Women’s Center staff have continue to uphold their BFHI practices, such as skin-to-skin and rooming-in.
“Nothing really changed about our BFHI practices during the current COVID-19 pandemic, except that mothers are more accepting of them now.” – Kimberly Moore, RN
When asked what she enjoys about her role, Kimberly shared that she loves watching the transformation on mothers faces the first time they meet their baby. “I am motivated to prioritize Baby-Friendly when I see how the things we have in place, such as skin-to-skin, golden hour, and rooming-in, all help the mother to be comfortable and confident with her newborn at discharge.” Kimberly also expressed that she takes a lot of joy in watching a mother, who made a timid decision to breastfeed, become so confident and committed to breastfeeding during her stay. “Seeing how empowered they are in the decision at discharge really makes my heart smile.”
Outside work, Kimberly is a mother to two very active children. Her son, Harrison, is on the archery team, shooting team, a band member and loves to go hunting with his mom. Her daughter, Susanna, is just starting her band career, loves to play soccer, and absolutely adores animals.
Congratulations Kimberly! Thank you for being such a positive advocate for breastfeeding, Baby-Friendly, and high quality maternity care at your facility.
Link to NMMC Gilmore-Amory designation post: https://www.cheerequity.org/cheer-champion-of-the-week/cheer-hospital-of-the-week-nmmc-gilmore-amory
This CHAMPion of the Week post is in honor of the late Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020), popularly known as the “Notorious R.B.G”. Justice Bader Ginsburg represented many things to many people; to us she was a hero, an unrelenting advocate for women’s rights, and a symbol of true public service. RBG was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993, where she served as associate justice for 27 years. She was the first female professor at Columbia to earn tenure, and she successfully argued six landmark gender discrimination cases in the 70s. RBG’s life was a testament to her resilience; she thrived at Harvard School of Law and other spaces despite the sexism and personal adversity she had to overcome.
In addition to her general advocacy for women’s rights and gender equality, RBG also made it her mission to open doors for parents, and families throughout her career. Some of her notable contributions to progressive change for families include:
Today’s CHEER Champion is Valerie Harris, LPN, CLC, and BFHI Coordinator for St. Dominic Memorial Hospital! Valerie works directly with managers on the Post-Partum, L&D, NICU, and Well Baby units to implement BFHI. She is responsible for stewardship of the project, doing the audits, and ensuring that everyone properly implements and documents the Baby-Friendly practices. Valerie was nominated for her consistently positive attitude, and unwavering commitment to the Baby-Friendly work, even during a pandemic that has impacted her both personally and professionally.
Valerie explained, “I advocate for Baby-Friendly because I believe in the power of the practices, such as skin-to-skin time with the baby. I do believe BFHI is a positive direction for our hospital, as it yields better outcomes for moms and babies”
Valerie was recruited by St. Dominic to lead their Baby-Friendly hospital initiative, after being a part of its implementation at a different hospital. Since she joined the St. Dominic team last year, they have made great progress in their pursuit of BFHI. They are now doing more skin-to-skin and rooming-in, they have more moms initiating breastfeeding and have established a solid grasp of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.
When asked about her motivation for this work, Valerie stated that she is motivated by her knowledge that Baby-Friendly is possible, and that the changes can be made, even when others are not convinced. “I have seen BFHI play out at another hospital and that knowledge has helped me to stay positive about the changes we are trying to achieve.” She also shared her initial reservations about taking on this role since St. Dominic was bigger than her previous hospital, “I was apprehensive because when I did BFHI at my former hospital, I had a lead that was telling me what to do there, but now I had to be that person.” However, now that she has gotten the hang of it, Valerie feels more at ease with the work and is very proud of the progress they have made.
Valerie enjoys witnessing the change in moms’ faces and bodies when they realize that they can breastfeed. “When you successfully breastfeed your baby, you feel in control, like you can do anything. I love meeting a mom where she is in her breastfeeding journey and providing the support she needs to overcome the next hurdle.”
Valerie would like to recognize her team members, Tandy Warren, Jennifer Spong, and April Wilson for their unwavering support. She is a mom and grandmother who enjoys boating, camping, and enjoying quality time with the people she loves.
Congratulations Valerie, thank you for your leadership of the Baby-Friendly hospital initiative at St. Dominic!
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.