142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Massachusetts Baby-Friendly Collaborative: Synergy on a Shoestring

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 12:30 PM - 12:48 PM

Melissa C. Bartick, MD, MS , Department of Medicine, Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge, MA
Roger A. Edwards, ScD , Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, MA
Mary Ellen Boisvert, RN, MSN, CLC, CCE , Southcoast Hospitals Group, Wareham, MA
Background: In 2008, Massachusetts had only 1 Baby-Friendly Hospital out of 50, with 4 other maternity centers committed to the process. Few states were using a statewide collaborative model for quality improvement projects of any nature for changing breastfeeding practices.

Methods: With the endorsement of the state health department, the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition launched the state’s Baby-Friendly Collaborative, which became an integral part of a multipronged approach to accelerate statewide change. With a minimal budget, the Collaborative was able to work synergistically with the annual Mother-Baby Summit, Baby-Friendly trainings sponsored by the Department of Public Health, and others, creating a holistic and strategic approach to improving maternity care practices which together support optimal breastfeeding outcomes. We present a qualitative analysis of state level change.  The collaborative itself is funded only by state breastfeeding coalition, and provides volunteer faculty, food for meetings, and webpage hosting and runs with minimal expense.

Results: Every hospital in the state is now participating in at least one of these efforts, and most are participating in more than one. Massachusetts now has 6 Baby-Friendly facilities with 18 more officially on the pathway, and 82% are participating in the Baby-Friendly Collaborative. The Collaborative, DPH, the Mother-Baby Summit, and others together provide networking and shared resources and technical assistance to help all hospitals implement evidence-based maternity care practices.

Conclusions: A multipronged approach including a Collaborative can inspire and sustain change on a state level and some efforts can go far with minimal resources.  

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the ways synergistic collaboration can multiply the acceleration of a state's progression toward implementation of evidence-based best practices and marked increase the number of Baby-Friendly Hopsitals. Discuss how a state breastfeeding collaborative can offer technical assistance to multiple hospitals and encourage a mutually supportive atmosphere, at little cost and how other states can replicate this model to accelerate change on the state level.

Keyword(s): Breastfeeding, Maternal and Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have organized the Massachusetts Baby-Friendly Collaborative and conceived of it and have been running it since its inception. I am also chair of the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition.
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.