200742 Building a city-wide breastfeeding promotion initiative in a large, multi-site, public-hospital system

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 12:30 PM

Michael Lettera, MS , Office of Health Promotion and Public Health Services, New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, New York, NY
The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), the largest US public hospital system, serves 1.3 million New Yorkers. In 2007, HHC implemented a corporate-wide (11 hospitals) Breastfeeding Promotion Initiative (BPI) to foster breastfeeding or the use of mother's milk, as the preferred nutrition for infants. The program is based on the BabyFriendly USA® “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding”. In 2008, HHC's Harlem Hospital received the first BabyFriendly certification in New York City and second in New York State.

HHC established a multi-disciplinary breastfeeding Working Group including clinical, administrative, and operations staff across HHC to standardize existing policies, procedures, and practices, and establish a uniform breastfeeding promotion model. The Working Group developed HHC's first Corporate Breastfeeding Policy based on best- and evidence-based medical practices. The Work Group oversees program development and implementation at Corporate facilities from clinical and operational perspectives and formed education (provider and patient) and performance evaluation sub-groups. These teams facilitated implementation of provider education at all sites, loaner pump programs, a newborn home visiting pilot program at three facilities thus far, enhancement of existing patient education materials and support, and a standardized data collection process to capture key program metrics. In addition, HHC eliminated the practice of providing mothers with formula company gift bags and imposed a ban on formula promotion materials. Instead, mothers receive an HHC breastfeeding friendly bag including educational materials and an ice pack and cooler to enable parents to travel with breast milk.

Learning Objectives:
List the ten components of a “Baby Friendly” hospital. Describe the strategies to promote breastfeeding in multi-hospital public system serving diverse urban communities. Describe the corporate governance structure for implementing such a program. Identify key program data elements for process and outcome evaluations. Assess how your hospital or facility compares to the BabyFriendly standards.

Keywords: Breast Feeding, Maternal and Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: MS Health Policy and Management; two years experience administration of breastfeeding promotion initiative at NYC HHC.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Abbot Labs infant formula Stock Ownership

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.