BID Plymouth recognized with breastfeeding achievement award from Mass. Department of Public Health
Hospital recognized for commitment to racial equity in hospital-based breastfeeding support
Plymouth, Mass. – In recognition of its commitment to racial equity in hospital-based breastfeeding support, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Plymouth (BID Plymouth) has been honored with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Breastfeeding Achievement Award. BID Plymouth was one of only 15 birthing facilities in the state to receive this recognition at the recent Breastfeeding in the Bay State virtual conference sponsored by the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition.
“Attaining excellent patient outcomes for new families, which includes optimum infant nutrition, is of the utmost importance,” said Linda Burke, MSN, director of The BirthPlace at BID Plymouth. “We are honored to be acknowledged by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for the efforts we have made to support breastfeeding and foster equitable care for diverse patients and families we serve.”
To support families who do not speak English or who speak English as a second language, many of whom speak Portuguese, BID Plymouth provides interpreter services in person, over the phone, or via Video Remote Interpreter Services. The care team also has a dedicated iPad earmarked for interpreter-only use to support patient communications. The hospital also paid special attention to designing its breastfeeding education materials to ensure images used reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of its patients.
“We are grateful to our exceptional care team, which puts our new parents and their babies first, working so hard to set these families up for successful infant nutrition by providing accessible education support and materials,” said Kevin Coughlin, president of BID Plymouth. “Healthy nutrition is critical for newborns, and we are thankful to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for recognizing our team’s hard work and commitment to our patients.”
The DPH area of focus in 2021 was “Improving Racial Equity in Hospital-Based Breastfeeding Support.” Examples of best practices include:
Increasing access to standardized maternity care practices that are supportive of breastfeeding for all individuals regardless of race and/or ethnicity.
Examining breastfeeding-related data by race and ethnicity to inform planning and ensure equitable access to services.
Hiring breastfeeding support staff (International Board-Certified Lactation Consultants, Certified Lactation Counselors, Peer Counselors, etc.) who represent the community you serve in terms of race, ethnicity, culture, and language.
Increasing access to breastfeeding education materials/classes in a variety of languages.
Utilizing marketing and/or educational materials that feature families from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.
BID Plymouth is also a Baby-Friendly Designated Hospital. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program that was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 1991 to promote, support, and encourage breastfeeding.
About Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Plymouth
Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Plymouth (BID Plymouth) is a non-profit healthcare and hospice provider, serving 250,000 residents of 12 towns in Plymouth and Barnstable Counties. BID Plymouth is a full-service, 170-bed acute care community hospital accredited by The Joint Commission, the College of American Pathologists, the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, and the American College of Radiology.
BID Plymouth is a part of Beth Israel Lahey Health, a health care system that brings together academic medical centers and teaching hospitals, community and specialty hospitals, more than 4,800 physicians and 36,000 employees in a shared mission to expand access to great care and advance the science and practice of medicine through groundbreaking research and education. For more information about Beth Israel Lahey Health, please visit www.bilh.org.