239430 Building a breastfeeding movement: Addressing policy, systems and environmental change through collaboration

Monday, October 31, 2011: 4:48 PM

Beth Pellettieri, MPH , HealthConnect One, Chicago, IL
Geneva Porter, MPH , Cook County Department of Public Health, Oak Park, IL
Catherine Willows, RN, IBCLC , Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics, Chicago, IL
Kathy Chan, BA , Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition, Chicago, IL
Linnea O'Neill, RN MPH , Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council, Chicago, IL
Dana Woods, MS , Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago, Inc., Chicago, IL
Rachel Abramson, RN, MS, IBCLC , HealthConnect One, Chicago, IL
The Cook County Department of Public Health and the Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago were awarded a Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant by the CDC. The initiative focuses on obesity prevention through policy, systems and environmental change. As breastfeeding reduces the risk of obesity by 22%, breastfeeding promotion and support is a critical strategy. Yet, breastfeeding rates in Illinois are lower than the national average, with huge racial/ethnic disparities. As building constituency and overall support for policy change is crucial to its success, HealthConnect One, the Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics, the Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition and the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council are using cooperative, inter-organizational networks as a key strategy in this endeavor. There are two main goals of the collaboration: (1) add an exclusive breastfeeding measure to the Illinois Hospital Report Card; (2) implement five of the ten Baby Friendly steps in 75% of the Cook County hospitals. The Illinois Hospital Report Card helps consumers be better informed about health care choices. The collaboration seeks to modify statewide policy to include data on exclusive breastfeeding. An intermediate success is the inclusion of breastfeeding on the Report Card starting by March 2011. In implementation the Baby Friendly steps, outreach was conducted to all 21 hospitals. A Hospital Advisory Committee provided feedback and outreach to hospitals. An assessment tool, used to determine existing practices and barriers, was developed. In addition, technical assistance is provided to the hospitals undertaking the challenge of implementing Baby Friendly steps.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss collaboration to promote breastfeeding. 2. Describe policy solutions to ensure that hospitals report on exclusive breastfeeding in a uniform and public manner. 3. Identify actions to promote implementation of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative in hospitals and maternity care facilities.

Keywords: Breastfeeding, Public Health Advocacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am Executive Director at HealthConnect One, and providing leadership on the breastfeeding component of the Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.