Florida Hospital Receives Second Star Award

A mom-to-be meets with her doctor.
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., March 3, 2016 Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center is the only facility in the area to successfully achieve the second star award from Florida Quest for Quality Maternity Care," in conjunction with the Baby Steps to Baby-Friendly Hospital initiative.

With this accolade, Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center enters the third phase of their journey towards a Baby-Friendly designation.

This recognition is from the Florida Breastfeeding Coalition (FBC), a statewide coalition in partnership with several Florida agencies and registered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC).

By creating action plans to improve the quality and support for mothers and babies, Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center demonstrates their dedication to prioritize mothers and babies and answers one of the actions in the U.S. Surgeon Generals Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding.

The Florida Department of Health fully supports breastfeeding as a vital health activity, said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. We commend all hospitals and health care facilities that are working toward practicing the WHO/UNICEF Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and encourage others to adopt these practices so that all mothers and newborns achieve the best health possible.

This project aims to reduce obesity and other chronic diseases by improving optimal infant feeding practices through evidence-based maternity care.

Plain and simple, breastfeeding is best for babies, as well as new moms. That's why it is a priority at our hospital, said Becky Vernon, Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center director of women and children's services. Mothers who choose to breastfeed decrease their children's risk of infections, obesity, diabetes and cancer. Breastfeeding also benefits mothers by lowering their risk of breast and ovarian cancer, obesity and heart disease.

According to the CDC, the hospital experience is critical for women who intend to breastfeed. To give infants the best start in achieving a healthy life, mothers must be supported immediately after birth to establish breastfeeding.

The impetus for this project is the fact that more mothers in Florida are choosing to breastfeed their newborns, but few have breastfed long enough to gain the maximum benefits of breastfeeding for both mothers and infants.

According to the CDC National Immunization Survey (2009 birth cohort) 77 percent of Florida mothers choose to breastfeed their babies, but less than 13 percent continue to breastfeed exclusively to the recommended 6 months.

Studies published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) indicate that hospitals practicing evidence-based maternity care, as outlined by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Ten Steps, have more patients breastfeeding in the hospital with longer durations outside of the hospital.

The Florida Breastfeeding Coalition is proud to recognize Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center and award them for their leadership in creating a comprehensive action plan that will improve infant feeding practices to families in Volusia County, stated Joan Younger Meek, MD, a co-founder of the Florida Breastfeeding Coalition, Inc.

Improvements as mapped out in Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Centers action plan include:

  • Skin-to-skin contact within the first hour after birth
    • Evidence shows healthy babies placed skin-to-skin just after birth have improved health outcomes over those who have been separated from their mothers after birth.
  • Rooming-in for all families
    • This has been proven to increase bonding and parenting skills necessary for caring for baby post discharge.
  • Provision of prenatal and post-partum education focused on the recommended feeding practices from the American Academy of Pediatrics
    • Recommendations include exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months and continuing for a least one year or as long as mutually desired.

Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center is in the midst of building a Level II neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to care for sick and premature newborn infants. Neonatologists Dr. Winslade Bowen and Dr. Rene Santin already provide continuous neonatology coverage at the Daytona Beach hospital 24-hours a day, seven-days a week. However, when this $10 million construction project is completed in 2016, the unit will also be home to a 16-bed NICU with private rooms, in addition to the BirthCare Centers current 10 Level 1 nursery beds.

About Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center

Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center is a member of Adventist Health System, a faith-based, non-profit health care organization with 44 hospitals in 10 states. With more than 2,000 employees, Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center is committed to providing state-of-the-art care while upholding the mission of extending the healing ministry of Christ. Our locations include Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center in Daytona Beach and Florida Hospital Oceanside in Ormond Beach, as well as outpatient facilities in Daytona Beach Shores, New Smyrna Beach and Port Orange. Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center has earned an A Hospital Safety Score from the Leapfrog Group since the ratings inception. Additionally, Florida Hospital Oceanside is home to the areas only inpatient rehabilitation facility with Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) accreditation for stroke care. For more information, call Call386-231-6000 or visit www.floridahospitalmemorial.org.

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