Tina Fritz, RN, BSN, IBCLC, is Neonatal Nurse and CHAMPS Team Leader at CHAMPS Hospital Singing River Hospital in Pascagoula, Mississippi. She was nominated as CHEER Champion of the Week for the incredible job she is doing as CHAMPS Team Leader!
“My greatest joy is attending a delivery as a neonatal nurse and adapting all of my care to promote breastfeeding and bonding,” Tina shares. “I am an oxytocin junkie. I love helping moms hold their new baby skin-to-skin on their chest right after delivery and coaching them through that first latch and breastfeeding. I love doing the baby's first bath with mom and family. I love the excitement and energy of the birth of a new baby. Being with parents during this special time really is a sacred privilege.”
Singing River Hospital, performing approximately 583 births per year and having a level II NICU, joined CHAMPS in 2017. They had already begun their Baby-Friendly journey, and they have continued to make great strides. Some of the challenges they have faced include coordinating patient education messages among different staff members and establishing their Baby-Friendly Task Force and coordinating meetings. Successes include increasing their breastfeeding and skin-to skin-rates.
“My motto at Singing River Hospital regarding our Baby-Friendly journey is ‘baby steps,’” says Tina. “My manager, Lori Weimer, always says, ‘How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.’ That is definitely how I see change happening at my hospital.”
When Tina is not at work, she volunteers as a leader with La Leche League of Ocean Springs/Biloxi. She is also a member of the South Mississippi Breastfeeding Coalition, and she enjoys running and staying active.
Tina’s positivity is evident and contagious, and she is extremely excited about the changes she sees both at her hospital and within Mississippi.
“What I love most about my job is seeing the culture of our Women's and Children's Department changing from one that routinely separated moms and babies and encouraged formula feeding to one that keeps moms and babies together and promotes breastfeeding. Our staff is committed to providing exceptional care to our patients,” Tina says.
“I am also thrilled about all of the changes that hospitals across Mississippi are making. I feel like this movement is historic! We really are helping to improve maternal and infant health through these practices,” she says.
Congratulations, Tina, on the difference you are making in countless lives!
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).