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Hospital named ‘baby friendly’

Submitted photo Members of the SJMH staff involved in the Baby Friendly designation for SJMH included, front row from left, Vickie Teter, Kiersten Pletcher, Tiffany Berry and Amanda Riffle; and second row, from left, Jo Ellen Markley, Robin Drake, Charlita Atha, Crystal Conrad, Stacy Fisher and Debbie Orsburn.

WESTON — Weston’s Mon Health Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital is proud to announce that it has achieved the highly prestigious international Baby-Friendly Designation after a rigorous review process conducted by Baby-Friendly USA, the organization responsible for bestowing this certification in the United States.

The coveted designation was celebrated on Dec. 10, with a special reception in the hospital’s boardroom.

The project was a five-year effort led by the Special Delivery Unit manager Robin Drake, RN. Staff from Mountaineer Healthcare for Women also worked to implement the standards provided by the Baby Friendly organization. During a very comprehensive review for SJMH, the staff was elated to find that they received the designation without any problems.

SJMH CEO Avah Stalnaker was extremely happy with the designation and noted, “Congratulation to Robin and her team of great nurses in our Special Delivery unit, the staff in Mountaineer Healthcare for Women and all the physicians who participated in this effort. This was a tremendous amount of work that resulted in this positive outcome for our patients. We have much to celebrate due to the outstanding and engaged employees that we have. Every department in the hospital was educated and had a part in this wonderful recommendation. Thank you to all involved.”

This distinguished honor demonstrates that SJMH is adhering to the highest standards of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. These standards are built on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, a set of evidence-based practices recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) for optimal infant feeding support in the precious first days of a newborn’s life.

The designation is a great reminder of the great care and hard work that the SJMH staff provides to their patients. Project manager Drake reconfirmed the importance of patient care and said, “We are extremely proud to be recognized for the hard work of our team members throughout the Baby-Friendly process. It’s an honor to say ‘we are Baby-Friendly Designated.’

“We are committed to implementing evidence-based care to ensure that mothers receiving prenatal care in our OB/GYN offices, delivering in our facility and following up with our pediatrician and family practice physicians receive the information, support and resources needed to help her and her baby get the best, healthiest start in life.”

The positive health effects of breastfeeding are well documented and widely recognized by health authorities throughout the world. For example, the Surgeon General’s 2011 Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding stated that “Breast milk is uniquely suited to the human infant’s nutritional needs and is a live substance with unparalleled immunological and anti-inflammatory properties that protect against a host of illnesses and diseases for both mothers and children.”

Mon Health Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital joins a growing list of more than 20,000 Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers throughout the world, 591 of which are in the United States. These facilities provide an environment that supports breastfeeding while respecting every woman’s right to make the best decision for herself and her family.

About Baby-Friendly USA: As the accrediting body and national authority for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) in the United States, Baby-Friendly USA is responsible for upholding the highest standards in infant feeding care by coordinating and conducting all activities necessary to confer the prestigious Baby-Friendly designation and ensure the widespread adoption of the BFHI in the US. Learn more about Baby-Friendly USA and the BFHI at www.babyfriendlyusa.org.

About Mon Health System: Mon Health System is an integrated network of physician clinics, outpatient centers and hospitals in North Central West Virginia that works together to make health care more accessible and affordable to the communities it serves.

It includes three hospitals — its flagship medical center, Mon Health Medical Center in Morgantown; Mon Health Preston Memorial Hospital in Kingwood; Mon Health Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital in Weston; Stonewall Home Oxygen Therapy; Monongalia EMS; Mon Health Equipment & Supplies; and The Village at Heritage Point.

For more information, visit monhealth.com.

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