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KCH Receives International ‘Baby-Friendly’ Award

February 10, 2016, 11:04 AM HST
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 Jay Kreuzer, Renee Inaba, Sally Robertson, Tanya Rude (front center), Rachele Addonizio, Kristine Luta, Martha Ferrell (front), Tommye Lane, Yolande Luyendyk and Pat Kalua (back). Kona Community Hospital courtesy photo.


Jay Kreuzer, Renee Inaba, Sally Robertson, Tanya Rude (front center), Rachele Addonizio, Kristine Luta, Martha Ferrell (front), Tommye Lane, Yolande Luyendyk and Pat Kalua (back). Kona Community Hospital courtesy photo.

Two Big Island hospitals are among three state-wide to be recognized internationally as a designated “Baby-Friendly Birth Facility.”

KCH was the most recent hospital to be listed, with an inclusion date in January. NHCH was awarded the designation in June of last year.

Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. is the United States’ authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund.

BFHI aims to implement practices that protect, promote, and support breastfeeding and immediate skin-to-skin bonding of newborn infants.

“We’re thrilled to receive this designation,” said Sally Robertson, Women’s Services Nurse Manager. “These baby-friendly best practices at KCH can impact the health of the entire community by proving new mothers with the proper education and tools to support successful breastfeeding and improve health outcomes for newborns.”

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The award is given after a rigorous on-site survey and is maintained by continuing to practice the Ten Steps as demonstrated by quality processes. Those steps include:

  • Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  • Train all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.
  • Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  • Help mothers initiative breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
  • Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation even if they are separated from their infants.
  • Give infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.
  • Practice rooming-in to allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
  • Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
  • Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
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“This recognition is an honor for our Women’s Services staff as well as affiliated agencies and doctors,” said Pat Kalua, Chief Nurse Executive at KCH. “It wasn’t an easy process, but these committed clinicians dedicate themselves to meeting the challenges in order to bring the best level of care to newborns in our community.

Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center in Honolulu is also on the list, initially receiving the recognition in 1997, and renewed from 2013 through 2018.

There are 329 active Baby-Friendly birth facilities in the United States, and over 20,000 worldwide.

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