April 12, 2012 –Hallmark Health System’s Melrose-Wakefield Hospital has been named a Baby-Friendly® birth facility by Baby-Friendly® USA. The local community hospital is one of only a handful of organizations in Massachusetts to receive this prestigious international recognition and the only in our region.
Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. is the country’s authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. Based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, this prestigious international award recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.
“Receiving this award is such an honor for Melrose-Wakefield Hospital and is a true testament to the exceptional care we provide mothers and their babies,” said Mary Foley, lactation program coordinator at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital. “The Baby Friendly initiative has helped us to create an environment that is supportive of optimal infant feeding, and we will continue to support and educate our new moms through prenatal education, in-hospital consultations and post discharge support.”
There are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide. Currently there are 138 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States. The “Baby-Friendly” designation is given after a rigorous on-site survey is completed. The award is maintained by continuing to practice the Ten Steps as demonstrated by quality processes.
“We have been working toward the Baby Friendly designation for a number of years so it is very rewarding to see it come to fruition,” said Tien-Lan Chang, MD, a pediatrician on the Hallmark Health System Medical Staff. “The nursing and medical staffs worked very hard to reach this goal and couldn’t have done it without the amazing support of the hospital’s administration. This is a great honor for Melrose-Wakefield Hospital.”
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Hallmark Health System is the premier, charitable provider of vital health services to Boston's northern communities. The system includes Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford; Melrose Wakefield Hospital, Melrose; Hallmark Health Hematology and Oncology Center, Stoneham; The CHEM Center for MRI, Stoneham; Hallmark Health Medical Center, Reading; Hallmark Health VNA and Hospice; Lawrence Memorial/Regis College Nursing and Radiography Programs, Medford and Hallmark Health Medical Associates, Inc. Hallmark Health is affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital for cardiology and Tufts Medical Center for neonatology and the Joslin Diabetes Center for diabetes care.