May 13, 2019

This week the CHEER’s CHAMPion of the week is Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi (BCBSMS). BCBSMS has been nominated as CHAMPions for their proactive and enduring commitment to improving maternal and infant health in Mississippi through their Maternity Quality Model, and for their ongoing collaborative role with CHAMPS to establish the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative across Mississippi.

The Maternity Quality Model, a statewide quality improvement initiative, includes four key components focusing on promoting healthier mothers and babies in Mississippi. The four components of the BCBSMS Maternity Quality Model are:

Part 1 – Prevention of Early Elective Delivery
Part 2 – Neonatal Appropriateness of Care
Part 3 – Baby-Friendly Hospital Designation
Part 4 – Implementation of Maternal Safety Bundles

BCBSMS works with Network Hospitals and key partners, Mississippi Perinatal Quality Collaborative (MSPQC) and CHAMPS, to implement best practices in all clinical settings caring for mothers and babies.

“We want expectant parents to have the opportunity to provide their baby with a healthy start to life. Our Maternity Quality Initiative is working to ensure families receive the highest quality evidence-based care before, during and after pregnancy along with support as they welcome baby home.” Casey Bland, Hospital Quality Coordinator at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi.

Priorities shared by BCBSMS and CHAMPS include increasing rates of breastfeeding initiation, exclusivity and mother/baby bonding which leads to long term health benefits for mothers and infants. Driving this change are the collaborative efforts between BCBSMS and CHAMPS to support Mississippi Hospitals along the pathway to reach Baby-Friendly Hospital Designation.  Ultimately, the goal is for all Mississippi hospitals to receive Baby-Friendly Hospital Designation.

“As a result of the collaborative work between BCBSMS and CHAMPS, BCBSMS Hospitals are increasing rates of breastfeeding through the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative,” says Casey Bland.

In 2014, when BCBSMS began collaborating with CHAMPS, there were no Mississippi hospitals with the Baby-Friendly designation. Today, 93% of BCBSMS hospitals are either designated or on the pathway to designation. So far, 11 hospitals have received the designation.

CHEER applauds BCBSMS’ leadership in this field and congratulates them on this CHAMPion of the week designation.