This past week, East Jefferson General Hospital (EJGH) became one of the first hospitals in our region to receive international recognition as a Baby-Friendly Designated facility from Baby-Friendly USA. This prestigious award is endorsed by the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ) and National Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). One of only five hospitals to hold this distinction in Louisiana, EJGH has been recognized as providing an optimal level of care for their families by implementing practices that are based on the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding”.
For over two years the hospital has been on the Baby-Friendly journey with the core team attending national learning sessions and bringing new ideas and initiatives back to EJGH. “The team was comprised of physicians, nurses, lactation consultants and a mother, and all of them were integral parts of our success,” said Barbara Carson, RN and Team Leader. “Together we worked to implement evidence-based practices including skin-to-skin care and rooming-in, which will ensure that all our new mothers will have the best start possible.”
Earning this designation meant the EJGH had demonstrated the highest levels of standardized, evidence based practices and were providing in-depth hands on education to mothers to be. The credentialing process included a rigorous two- day site visit where assessors evaluated policies, community partnerships, education plans, and interviewed patients, physicians, and staff members. “All our team members have worked very hard to accomplish this goal” said Paula Adamcewicz, Director of Woman & Newborn Services, “It is a direct result of their commitment and dedication that we were able to achieve this designation”.
There are more than 15,000 Baby Friendly facilities in over 134 countries worldwide and currently more than 240 in the USA. East Jefferson General Hospital is proud to be among them.