May 16, 2016

Congratulations to CHAMPS Hospital OCH Regional Medical Center in Starkville, Mississippi, the only facility in Mississippi to win the prestigious 2016 IBCLC Care Award! The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® and the International Lactation Consultant Association® are the 2 organizations to present this award. To qualify, community health facilities or hospitals must staff a currently licensed International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and complete a documented, evidence-based project to support lactation within the past 2 years.

OCH Regional Medical Center’s qualifying project was their recent skin-to-skin initiative. OCH was accepted into CHAMPS in October 2015. At that time, they were doing skin-to-skin care after birth for anyone who requested and was considered to be eligible. After they joined CHAMPS, they made the decision to track 100 samples to see why certain patients were not eligible for skin-to-skin, to determine whether they were doing everything they could to offer it to the most patients possible. In October, they also started to educate their staff on skin-to-skin as the recommended practice, and in January 2016, they started offering skin-to-skin for all vaginal deliveries and some c-sections. Prior to this initiative, OCH’s breastfeeding initiation rates were around 52%. Now, their monthly initiation rates are over 60%, and 62% in April 2016. Paula Hamilton, RNC-OB, IBCLC, CHAMPS Team Lead and Perinatal Educator/Facilitator at OCH, believes their initiation rates will increase even further once they start offering skin-to-skin for more c-section deliveries.

This is not the first time OCH has won the 2-year IBCLC Care Award. In 2014, they won it for their breastfeeding support group, which is still active. OCH also houses an outpatient lactation clinic staffed by Paula and WIC peer counselors. Any mother can come to the clinic on an outpatient basis, which creates a seamless referral system between labor & delivery and postpartum follow-up care. Other lactation support services at OCH include a beautiful employee lactation room, breastfeeding hotline, and annual Breastfeeding Fair. OCH recently joined the 4-D Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative pathway and is preparing to enter the Development phase soon!
Other recipients of the 2016 IBCLC Care Award include CHAMPS hospitals William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas and Christus Santa Rosa – New Braunfels in New Braunfels, Texas. Congratulations!!