SITKA – SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) announces that Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital (MEH) was awarded international recognition as a designated “Baby-Friendly” birth facility.
The Baby-Friendly initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. Based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding (Ten Steps), this esteemed international award recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies successfully. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (“BFHI”) is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for which Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. is the authority for its implementation in the United States.
Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital was awarded the “Baby-Friendly” designation after completing an extremely rigorous on-site survey. The award is maintained by continuing to practice the Ten Steps as demonstrated by quality processes.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our OB/Gyn and Health Promotion teams for pursuing the ‘Baby-Friendly’ designation on behalf of SEARHC and MEH,” says SEARHC President & CEO, Charles Clement. He adds, “Our mission to provide the best healthcare for our communities should begin at birth, and implementing the Baby-Friendly initiative at our hospital is an important part of that care.”
Currently, there are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide and 547 active “Baby-Friendly” hospitals and birth centers in the United States. Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital is proud to be the first Tribal facility in Alaska to have received the award, and one out of only three facilities in Alaska with the designation.