CHEER receives inaugural funding from Center on Forced Displacement
CHEER has received inaugural seed funding from BU’s Center on Forced Displacement (CFD), this is CHEER’s first grant for our international work. CHEER’s 2023 CFD grant focuses on refugee health in greater Athens, Greece. CHEER Director Anne Merewood MPH, PhD, who is also affiliated faculty at the CFD, will spearhead the project along with Shelley Brown MPH, PhD, from Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. Read more about the CFD grants here.
CHEER presents at Breastfeeding Grand Rounds 2022
CHEER Director Anne Merewood and Camie Goldhammer presented in a live webcast on decreasing racial/ethnic disparities in breastfeeding on December 14, 2022. The University at Albany School of Public Health hosts the annual presentation, in partnership with the New York State Department of Health, in Albany, New York.
The University of Mississippi Medical Center is re-designated!
The University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) is Baby-Friendly re-designated! The Medical Center officially became re-designated on December 5, 2022. Congratulations on this huge accomplishment! View the list of Mississippi Baby-Friendly hospitals here.
CHEER moves forward with new Bower grant
The Bower Foundation has funded CHAMPS (Communities and Hospitals Advancing Maternity Practices), to sustain Baby-Friendly practices in Mississippi for another 3 years.
CHAMPS is a program of CHEER (The Center for Health Equity, Education, and Research) at the Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine.
The new grant will allow CHAMPS to help Mississippi hospitals to meet revised Baby-Friendly requirements. It will also include maternity workforce training, hospital workplace lactation support, and promotion of the Breastfeeding | Human Medicine Interprofessional Education (IPE) module.
Just in! St. Dominic is Baby-Friendly designated.
St. Dominic Hospital is Baby-Friendly! The hospital began its Baby-Friendly journey in 2019, and we couldn’t be more excited for its official designation. Congratulations to St. Dominic’s team on this well-deserved accomplishment! View the list of Mississippi Baby-Friendly hospitals here.
Singing River Pascagoula Hospital is Baby-Friendly!
Singing River Pascagoula Hospital is Baby-Friendly! The hospital began its Baby-Friendly journey more than six years ago, and we couldn’t be more excited for its official designation. Congratulations to the Pascagoula Hospital team on this well-deserved accomplishment! View the list of Mississippi Baby-Friendly hospitals here.
Magnolia Regional Health Center attains the Baby-Friendly designation.
Magnolia Regional Health Center is Baby-Friendly! Magnolia began its Baby-Friendly journey in 2016, and we couldn’t be more excited for its official designation. Congratulations to the hospital team on this well-deserved accomplishment! View the full list of Mississippi Baby-Friendly hospitals here.
Just in! South Central Regional Medical Center is Baby-Friendly designated.
South Central Regional Medical Center is officially Baby-Friendly! This hospital has overcome many challenges, including COVID-19, since they began their Baby-Friendly journey in 2018. We are thrilled to see them succeed! View the list of Mississippi Baby-Friendly hospitals here.
CHEER’s Statement on the Infant Formula Shortage
We need to provide systemic, proactive, coordinated support for breastfeeding. Reliance as a society on infant formula results in the kind of crisis now impacting parents across the US. CHEER applauds all those providing support to pregnant patients, during the birthing and newborn period, and throughout infancy. For guidance in this crisis, please see to the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine’s Statement on Shortage of Breastmilk Substitutes (Infant Formula): https://www.bfmed.org/statement-on-shortage-of-breastmilk-substitutes
RE-AIM Analysis Details the Broader Impact and Success of CHAMPS!
CHEER’s latest publication in Maternal and Child Nutrition journal assesses the reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation and maintenance of the CHAMPS initiative in Mississippi. While our previous research showed that CHAMPS program was successful at improving maternity care practices, increasing breastfeeding rates, and decreasing racial disparities, this study looks at the broader impact of our program in Mississippi.
Check out the free open-access publication here.
New Qualitative Study in the Journal of Neonatal Nursing!
The Journal of Neonatal Nursing has published the findings from our qualitative study on the breastfeeding experiences of Mississippi mothers who gave birth prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019! The study, titled “A qualitative assessment of mothers’ perspectives on hospital and community breastfeeding support in Mississippi,” was done in collaboration with our partners at Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere. Read and download the article for FREE, before April 14, 2022: https://authors.elsevier.com/c/1ed~t4q8XaCdD7
New MS CHAMPS Publication in Pediatrics!
New Publication Alert! Our latest Pediatrics paper provides evidence of the Mississippi CHAMPS program’s success in significantly decreasing racial inequities in breastfeeding initiation and increasing breastfeeding initiation, exclusive breastfeeding, skin-to-skin, and rooming-in rates across Mississippi hospitals. Read our full press release here and access the publication here.
Another CHAMPS South Hospital is Baby-Friendly!
Congratulations to University Hospital in San Antonio on their recent Baby-Friendly designation! This hospital was part of our CHAMPS South project which ran from 2014 -2017. Learn more about the CHAMPS South project here.
CHEERing STARS Holiday Fundraiser!
Support the CHEERing girls’ soccer team this holiday season! The Soccer Teams and Refugee Solidarity (STARS) program began in July and now supports over 30 girls, mostly from Afghanistan, who live in the Malakasa refugee camp just outside of Athens, Greece. As the team continues to grow and improve, we need your support to buy proper equipment, sneakers, and uniforms so the girls can play safely. Click here to donate!
New Bower Foundation Grant to Promote Breastfeeding IPE!
The Bower Foundation has awarded CHEER a grant to promote the Breastfeeding: Human Medicine Interprofessional Education (IPE) module! The IPE is a collaborative effort between the University of Mississippi Medical Center, CHEER, and the Bower Foundation to expand education about breastfeeding across multiple medical disciplines. Learn more abut the new grant here.
Greenwood Leflore Hospital is Baby-Friendly!
Greenwood Leflore Hospital is officially Baby-Friendly! This Mississippi Delta hospital was where it really all began for Mississippi CHAMPS and we are so proud to see them succeed in their Baby-Friendly journey. Congratulations to the team and to the Delta WIC program that got this going from the start! Learn more about the Mississippi Baby-Friendly hospitals here.
CHEER and UENPS Publish Multi-national Study on Hospital Breastfeeding Practices !
CHEER and Union of European Neonatal and Perinatal Societies (UENPS) have collaborated on a multi-national study to assess breastfeeding-supportive hospital practices in European hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out the new open access publication here.
CHEERing Launches New Breastfeeding Resource!
CHEERing has launched a new resource “Feeding Infants in Emergencies: Breastfeeding Matters Now“. As humanitarian crises and natural disasters continue to increase in today’s world, this resource further emphasizes the importance of breastfeeding as a life-saving intervention, especially in emergency situations. This resource is available in English, Arabic, French, and Farsi.
Mississippi CHAMPS Wins the Office on Women’s Health Breastfeeding Challenge!
Mississippi CHAMPS has won a national award for reducing racial breastfeeding disparities in Mississippi. CHAMPS (Communities and Hospitals Advancing Maternity Practices) is one of 15 US programs to receive the Reducing Disparities in Breastfeeding Innovation Challenge award, created by the Office of Women’s Health to reward programs with a track record in increasing breastfeeding rates and decreasing disparities. The challenge has three phases. CHAMPS received a prize of $15,000, and an opportunity to advance to the next phase.
CHEERing for CHAMPions Conference Sessions: Now on YouTube!
CHEERing for CHAMPions: Virtual Breastfeeding Conference 2021 session recordings on are now available on YouTube. Watch the keynote and breakout sessions and subscribe to our channel here.
CHEER Presents Two Breakouts at NBCC 2021!
CHEER was happy to disseminate our work at the USBC National Breastfeeding Conference & Convening (NBCC) 2021! Check out our breakout presentations via the Whova Platform. Presentation recordings are available to all conference attendees for up to six months. Post-event registration and access are available until July 8.
Coahoma County Diaper Bank, CHEER, And Early Dawn Birthing Services Receive NACCHO Grant For Community Breastfeeding Assessments!
Coahoma County Diaper Bank (a.k.a the Diaper Bank of the Delta) and Early Dawn Birthing Services have been awarded a $15,000 NACCHO grant, with CHEER as a partner, to assess the chest/breastfeeding environment in the northern Mississippi Delta! This funding will be used to evaluate community access to breastfeeding resources and individual breastfeeding support and education experiences. The grant will be executed by Coahoma County Diaper Bank, in partnership with CHEER (for research, data, and evaluation support), and Early Dawn Birthing Services (for community engagement and virtual listening sessions).
Learn more about the NACCHO program here.
Mississippi Becomes Top Ranking State For Birth In Baby-Friendly Hospitals
Recently released from the CDC: Mississippi was ranked 4th in the U.S in 2020 for the percentage of births occurring at designated “Baby-Friendly” hospitals. Since CHAMPS began working in the state in 2014, the number of Baby-Friendly hospitals has increased dramatically from 0 to 22. Congratulations to all our Mississippi hospitals and partners on this noteworthy accomplishment!
Breastfeed Or Be Vaccinated—An Unreasonable Default Recommendation
CHEER Director, Dr. Anne Merewood, and her colleagues – Drs. Lars Bode, Riccardo Davanzo, and Rafael Perez-Escamilla- share their thoughts on England’s initial recommendation not to vaccinate lactating women in this recent publication from The Lancet.
Registration Opens For CHEER’s First Ever Virtual Conference
Registration is now open for CHEER’s first-ever virtual conference, CHEERing for CHAMPions! CHEERing for CHAMPions: Virtual Breastfeeding Conference 2021, is free for all attendees. After registering, you will have access to the virtual conference platform, organized by SpotMe. Nursing CE credits available to Mississippi nursing staff at no cost; available to non-MS nursing staff for a requested donation.
Register soon to receive a gift pack, available to the first 100 registrants. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for questions!
CHAMPS Conducts Virtual 4 HR Train-The-Trainer Course
CHAMPS had a wonderful virtual CHAMPS Breastfeeding Clinical Competencies Train-the-Trainer this morning! A huge thank you to Cathy Carothers for leading the session, and to all of our attendees – Who knew a Zoom training could be so engaging and informative!! We can’t wait for more trainings to come, and to hear about participants’ trainings at their own facilities!
Save The Date For Virtual CHEER Conference 2021!
CHAMPS Safety Training Presentation At The 2020 ILCA Conference
CHAMPS’ Mississippi Liaison and Trainer, Cathy Carothers (BLA, IBCLC, FILCA) presented the Techniques for Safe Implementation of Communities and Hospitals Advancing Maternity Practices (CHAMPS) Training, a train-the-trainer for the course CHAMPS created and implemented to promote safe implementation of Baby-Friendly practices to support breastfeeding, at the recent International Lactation Consultants Association (ILCA) annual conference. This workshop provided an overview of the new curriculum, with a focus on safety approaches for skin-to-skin care, rooming in, and prevention of falls. The teaching platform employs principles of visual design and case-based participation to enhance learning.
During the workshop, qualified lactation educators learned strategies for conducting effective education, background to the unique visual-based learning approach, key content topics, and options for conducting engaging activities as part of the curriculum. The presentation was released on August 21 and will be available to conference registrants on the ILCA website until November 18. ILCA attendees can attend the training and then access the course materials by emailing CHAMPS at CHAMPSbreastfeed@gmail.com with a copy of their ILCA registration confirmation or receipt and certificate of attendance.
CHEER’s Message Of Support For Black Communities
CHEER, the Center for Health Equity, Education, & Research, stands in solidarity with Black people and other POC experiencing the pervasive and devastating consequences of racism in our country. We are outraged by the ceaseless injustices, both physical and systemic, that affect Black communities daily.
CHEER was founded to “bring about health equity,” with a focus on underserved populations. The events of the past weeks, coupled with the disproportionate numbers of COVID-19 cases among people of color, have emphasized the continued necessity and urgency of our work.
As AAP President Sally Goza, MD, FAAP said, “Racism harms children’s health, starting from before they are born.” Now and always, CHEER remains committed to fighting inequities, countering systemic racism, and increasing optimal access to health for all families.
CHAMPS Covid-19 Response Webinar Series
The CHAMPS Team is launching a series of COVID-19 focused webinars in the coming weeks.
To access and download past webinars in the series, view the 2020 “Past Webinars” heading on the webinars page.
Shelter In Place- Room In!
Rooming in means mothers and infants staying together in the hospital. This is one of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. Also, when large scale infections like COVID-19 are in the air, the safest place for the healthy baby is the mother’s room in the hospital. This prevents babies from being exposed to other babies by sharing a common nursery space or spending time being pushed around the hospital corridors.
NMMC Gilmore-Amory Becomes Baby-Friendly Bringing MS To 60% Births At Designated Hospitals!
We are happy to announce that NMMC Gilmore-Amory is Baby-Friendly designated! Mississippi now has 20 Baby-Friendly hospitals, with 60% of births taking place in designated hospitals. Congratulations to the NMMC Gilmore team, we appreciate their tenacity and commitment to providing mothers and newborns with the finest evidence-based care! We are also thankful for such wonderful news during these tough times.
CHAMPS Covid-19 Response!
In light of the ongoing novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, CHAMPS has cancelled or postponed the Mississippi CHAMPS site visits and mock assessments scheduled for the week of March 23rd. We have also cancelled upcoming trainings to adhere to social distancing and other recommended preventive measures at this time. Please click on the button below for more information and resources.
*The CDC recommends breastfeeding even where women are COVID-19 positive.*