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Texas Health Fort Worth Earns 'Baby-Friendly Hospital' Designation
01/18/2010

FORT WORTH, Texas — Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth has been designated a “Baby-Friendly Hospital” by the World Health Organization, recognizing its comprehensive approach to supporting breastfeeding of newborns.

Texas Health Fort Worth is fourth Texas hospital to receive this designation. Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford and Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville also received the distinction and among 87 “Baby-Friendly” hospitals in the nation.

“We are thrilled to be among the first in Texas to receive this designation,” said Amy Hailey, R.N., B.S.N., director of women’s services at Texas Health Fort Worth. “This designation means we have established a standard of excellence for assisting pregnant women and new mothers in one of the most rewarding experiences of motherhood: breastfeeding.”

An international program sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is designed to encourage and acknowledge hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for lactation.

To achieve Baby-Friendly status, hospitals must successfully implement and follow 10 steps outlined by the program. These include starting breastfeeding in the first hour of life, extensive employee training, giving mom and baby the option of “rooming in” and providing outpatient support after discharge.

"It also is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our employees and the physicians on the medical staff to promote the health of moms and babies in Fort Worth,” Hailey added.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in its recent Breastfeeding Report Card, lauded the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative and listed the number of facilities in each state that have achieved the Baby-Friendly designation.

“Birth facility policies and practices significantly impact whether a woman chooses to start breastfeeding and how long she continues to breastfeed,” the report said.

The CDC encourages breastfeeding because of its many known benefits for infants, children and breastfeeding women.

Representatives from Baby-Friendly USA, the nonprofit organization that oversees the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in the United States, conducted an intensive two-day site visit at Texas Health Fort Worth to assess its breastfeeding program.

“I am proud of each one of our clinicians and the physicians on the medical staff who worked diligently on implementing the steps to becoming a ‘Baby Friendly Hospital’,” said Oscar L. Amparan, president of Texas Health Fort Worth. “The Baby-Friendly designation shows the community and the world that our hospital is committed to supporting new mothers by giving them the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding.”

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth is 731-bed, Magnet-designated regional referral center that has served the residents of Tarrant County since 1930. The hospital’s services include cardiovascular services, high-risk and routine obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics and sports medicine, neonatal intensive care, and trauma/emergency medicine. Texas Health Fort Worth is also home to the 100-bed Texas Health Harris Methodist Heart Center. An affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, Texas Health Fort Worth has more than 4,000 employees, 200 volunteers and nearly 1,000 physicians practicing on the medical staff. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/FortWorth.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. Texas Health’s system of 14 hospitals includes Texas Health Harris Methodist, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, and Texas Health Presbyterian, and an organization for medical research and education. Texas Health Organization for Physicians and Texas Health Physicians Group provide a variety of models for engagement with physicians. Texas Health Partners is a joint venture development and management company owned by Texas Health Resources. Texas Health MedSynergies is a joint venture that offers physicians a range of office management and other business services to support their practices. Texas Health is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.

 

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