Hays Medical Center Receives Grant to Support Baby-Friendly Designation
Hays, Kansas (July 14)— Hays Medical Center is among six Kansas sites receiving grants to facilitate attainment of Baby-Friendly designation, the gold standard of breastfeeding support for hospitals. The project is funded by the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s (KDHE) Bureau of Family Health, with support from the Title V Maternal & Child Health Block Grant1. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers offering an optimal level of care for infant feeding and bonding between mother and baby. For mothers, delivery at a Baby-Friendly hospital means they will have the information, confidence, and skills to initiate and maintain breastfeeding.
The grant will support Hays Medical Center in implementing the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, a collection of evidence-based practices shown to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration rates and a requirement for attaining Baby-Friendly designation. An abundance of scientific evidence has demonstrated lower risks for certain diseases and improved health outcomes for both mothers and babies who breastfeed.
The ten steps include having a written breastfeeding policy, training staff in skills to implement the policy, informing pregnant women about benefits and management of breastfeeding, helping mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth, showing mothers how to breastfeed and maintain lactation even if separated from their infants, giving infants no food or drink other than breastmilk unless medically needed, allowing mothers and infants to room together 24 hours a day, encouraging breastfeeding on demand, giving no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants, and fostering availability of breastfeeding support groups and resources for mothers after their hospital stay. More information on Baby-Friendly may be found at babyfriendlyusa.org.
Becoming a Baby-Friendly facility is a comprehensive, detailed and thorough journey toward excellence in maternity care. The process to achieve designation compels facilities to examine, challenge and modify long-standing policies and procedures. It requires training and skill building among all levels of staff, and entails implementation of audit processes to assure quality in all aspects of maternity care operations. For hospitals, the journey is challenging but creates opportunities to develop high-performance work teams, build staff leadership skills, promote employee pride, enhance patient satisfaction, and improve health outcomes.
Other Kansas hospitals receiving the grants of $25,000 each are Lawrence Memorial Hospital; Pratt Regional Medical Center; Ransom Memorial Hospital, Ottawa; Saint Luke’s South Hospital, Overland Park; and Salina Regional Health Center.
United Methodist Health Ministry Fund is a Hutchinson-based health philanthropy serving Kansas. Since its founding in 1986, United Methodist Health Ministry Fund has invested more than $65 million toward improve health, healing, and wholeness in Kansas. Additional information about its grant initiatives may be found at www.healthfund.org
The KDHE Bureau of Family Health is responsible for administering the Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Services Block Grant for the State of Kansas. The Title V MCH program plays a key role in the provision of services in Kansas and targets activities to improve the health of all women, infants, and their families. Find more information at www.kansasmch.org or www.kdheks.gov/bfh. You can also find us on Facebook (Kansas Maternal & Child Health).
Footnote 1: Grant #B04MC29344 supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.