​The CHAMPS Sustainability initiative aims to ensure that evidence-based, high quality maternity care is maintained for perpetuity in Mississippi. This involves immediately engaging Baby-Friendly Designated Mississippi hospitals, to ensure continuity, solidification, and permanence of their new maternity care practices and standards that support exclusive breastfeeding. We intend to do this by:

  • Analyzing successful implementation strategies to identify key elements for sustainability
  • Responding in real time to challenges associated with sustainability for improved maternity care standards

The main components of this project include:

  1. Ongoing data collection and analysis on the factors that influence sustainability
  2. Individual technical support and collaborative learning among designated hospitals
  3. CHAMPS RAMPS, an effort to improve the outcome measure of exclusive breastfeeding
  4. Continuous staff training and education
  5. Continuous statewide training
  6. Sustainability panels at annual CHAMPS conferences


CHEER has received a new, 3-year grant from the Bower Foundation to continue work with Baby-Friendly designated Mississippi hospitals.

“This new grant will help us to work directly with Baby-Friendly designated hospitals in Mississippi, to help them ingrain the new policies and practices, and to support them with ongoing training and data collection,” said Anne Merewood PhD MPH, an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at BUSM, and Director of CHEER and CHAMPS. “Also, it will help us to work across Mississippi to engage statewide support.”

​Already, CHAMPS has a working relationship with WIC, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi, and MSPQC (the Mississippi Perinatal Quality Collaborative). ​Community level support is provided by ROSE (Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere), a national organization supporting breastfeeding among women of color.

​“This work is really supporting a more humane and evidence-based approach to maternal child health at the hospital level – it’s about much more than breastfeeding,” says Dr Merewood. “But sometimes it takes time for new policies and practices to become accepted and routine. This new grant will help Mississippi hospitals to establish Baby-Friendly practices as the norm.”