Congratulations to CHAMPS Hospital Merit Health Madison in Canton, Mississippi, for becoming Baby-Friendly on September 4, 2019! Merit Health Madison Hospital is a 35,000 square foot facility with a maternity department that has approximately 300 births per year.
Merit Madison began their Baby-Friendly journey in 2016. “It feels wonderful to have achieved the designation of Baby Friendly, it has been a long road and we are so excited to be Baby Friendly!" shares Tracy Sims, RN, Clinical Coordinator of the Newborn Nursery and CHAMPS Team Lead for the hospital’s Baby-Friendly initiative. “When I attended the first conference and was introduced to the 10 steps, I was overwhelmed to say the least“ she says, but looking back, Tracy cannot imagine things any other way. The patients love the changes and the staff work collectively to educate and support moms with breastfeeding.
For the Merit Health Madison team, learning how to implement the ten steps, safely conduct skin to skin, and transition baby in the mother’s room were the most challenging aspects of their journey towards designation. “It was so new and foreign, and I could not envision it,” Tracy says. The team’s perspective changed when they began scoring high on their audits; they realized that they were doing well with the changes they had made and the goal of becoming designated seemed achievable. Tracy describes how she felt the first time she witnessed a baby searching for her mother’s milk. “This was a high point for me personally, I was amazed!” she shares.
Tracy credits some of their success to the support they had from the start. Being part of the Merit Health Team, MH Madison was fortunate in that they did not have to go through the journey alone. Some of the individuals and organizations who provided the much need support include: Sherri Pitts, CEO at Merit Health Woman’s, who facilitates system wide feedback and communication among the Merit Health system hospitals; CHAMPS which provides avenues for participating hospitals to exchange ideas about what works and ways to improve; Rene Simpson from Merit Woman’s and Jean Dunn from Merit River Oaks, who provided tremendous help and did much of the initial work on hospital policy changes; CHAMPS coach, Rebecca Knapp, who provided constant support; Andrea Borda and Jenny Zorn from W.I.C, who educated moms and provided support in the postpartum unit; Hospital Administrators, Tim Lolly, Carmen Alexander, and Brit Phelps, who were dedicated to becoming designated from the start and did everything possible to support the unit and task force.
Now that they are Baby-Friendly designated, the team is determined not to relent. They intend to continue to focus on helping moms to breastfeed exclusively during their hospital stay.
Congratulations Merit Health Madison, we are very proud of you!
Though her role can be challenging, Lacey finds it very rewarding because she gets to make policy changes within the hospital that nurses can benefit from.
Having worked at Merit River Region since 2005, Lacey witnessed the initiation of Baby Friendly at the hospital. She first served as a Unit Clerk and then as a bedside nurse in the Labor and Delivery department for 10 years, an experience she describes as the “greatest passion” of her life. When she moved into her leadership role 4 years ago, she prioritized changing the perceptions of staff about Baby Friendly through education. She focused on helping the staff to understand what being BF designated would mean for practice and for the patients. She describes this as “one of the hardest yet most rewarding hurdles” she had to overcome in her role.
Lacey is motivated by her amazing patients and dedicated organization who make her job worth it. Seeing processes and changes that she helped develop translated into progressive reality makes her beam with pride for her team. She is inspired by the fact that she gets to advocate for both her patients and bedside staff through leadership.
In addition to her role at MHRR, Lacey has been an active member of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) and Mississippi Nurses Association (MNA). When she’s not focusing on changing the culture in her community, she is enjoying time spent with her husband and daughter. She is also actively involved with the hospital’s community outreach efforts and works collaboratively with other organizations like United Way and WIC to support parents and families.
Congratulations Lacey! We appreciate you and wish you the best with everything.
The CHEER Champion of the Week blog will be on vacation for the month of August. The next post will appear after Labor Day, on September 9th. See you then!
Major Kimberly (“Kim”) Rosenbaum, MSN, RNC-OB, IBCLC, was CHEER Champion of the Week in 2016 for creating a unique patient education checklist at CHAMPS hospital William Beaumont Army Medical Center. This checklist ensured consistency and efficiency in meeting Baby-Friendly education requirements within 36 hours of birth, and served as the basis for the one CHAMPS uses with all its hospitals in the 2nd Phase of Baby-Friendly. In her latest position, Kim worked at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, before recently retiring from the Army. She was a Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist whose passions included lactation, perinatal bereavement, education and mentorship.
In her latest position, Kim taught a 4-month specialty program to all the Army-registered nurses who wish to specialize in obstetrics and gynecology. Kim loved watching her nurses grow more confident and competent as they learned the latest in evidence-based care and how to interpret research on their own. She recently helped 2 students present at a national level on Anaphylactoid Syndrome in Pregnancy and Tranexamic Acid Use in Obstetrics. She also mentored students in getting their work published in professional nursing journals.
Kim recently got a beautiful tattoo of a woman lovingly breastfeeding her baby and states she was inspired to get this tattoo because she “loves how breastfeeding can be so empowering to women in this challenging role of motherhood.” She is excitedly looking forward to continuing to advocate and promote the latest in evidence-based care as a civilian and, best of all, no longer wearing her hair in a bun!
Congratulations on your retirement, Kim, and best wishes to you!
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).