Florida Hospital Receives Third Star Award

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., December 13, 2017 Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center is the only facility in the area to earn the third-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 fourth and final 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 Dr. John Armstrong, State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health. 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 Dr. Joan Younger Meek, 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 opened a 16-bed Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in August 2016 to care for newborns 32 weeks and older. It is the only NICU in Volusia County with private, family-centered rooms, allowing parents to stay 24 hours a day with their babies.

About Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center

Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center is a member of Adventist Health System, a faith-based health care organization with 45 hospital campuses and 8,200 licensed beds in nine states, serving more than 5 million patients annually. With a mission to extend the healing ministry of Christ, Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center includes the 327-bed facility in Daytona Beach, as well as Florida Hospital Oceanside with 80 beds in Ormond Beach. Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center and Florida Hospital Oceanside are two of the seven Florida Hospitals in Flagler, Lake and Volusia counties that composes the Florida Hospital Central Florida Division - North Region. As the largest hospital system in the area, the Florida Hospital Central Florida Division - North Region has 1,226 beds and more than 7,800 employees. For more information about Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center, visit www.floridahospitalmemorial.org.

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