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For Release: July 23, 2013 – Pamela Williams, Office of Communications – 405/271-5601

Claremore Indian Hospital Oklahoma’s First Baby-Friendly Hospital

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is pleased to acknowledge that the Claremore Indian Hospital has received the first-in-Oklahoma designation as a “Baby Friendly” hospital. Baby-Friendly designation is the gold standard bestowed by Baby-Friendly USA, Inc., the national authority for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a global initiative of the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund. This is the highest designation afforded to hospitals by an accrediting body that promotes best practices for maternity care.

Only seven percent of U.S. babies are born in Baby-Friendly hospitals. Hospitals that are designated as Baby-Friendly have demonstrated best practice in the care of mothers and newborns and improved breastfeeding rates.In addition, Baby-Friendly hospitals support mother-baby bonding by keeping mothers and babies together, putting babies in skin-to-skin contact right after birth, educating all families on best infant feeding practices, and educating hospital staff on procedures to better support new families.

“We appreciate Claremore Indian Hospital’s vigorous efforts to promote maternal and infant health as part of Oklahoma’s efforts to reduce infant mortality,” said OSDH State Health Commissioner Dr. Terry Cline. “Oklahoma has an opportunity to be a leader in promoting the best care for babies and families as we provide support for delivering hospitals in achieving the Baby-Friendly designation.”

The OSDH is encouraging other hospitals to follow in Claremore Indian Hospital’s footsteps.Claremore Indian Hospital participated in the statewide Becoming Baby-Friendly in Oklahoma project as a member of the initial “Trailblazer” group working to achieve this designation of quality maternal/newborn care. Other hospitals currently participating in this group are the following:

  • Chickasaw Nation Medical Center, Ada                                      
  • Comanche County Memorial Hospital, Lawton                            
  • Hillcrest Medical Center, Tulsa                                       
  • INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center, Oklahoma City          
  • INTEGRIS Health Edmond, Edmond                                          
  • The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center, Oklahoma City                                         
  • OU Medical Center, Edmond                                                     
  • St. Anthony Hospital, Oklahoma City

In addition to the support from the OSDH, partner organizations supporting the Becoming Baby-Friendly in Oklahoma project include the Oklahoma Hospital Association, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, the OU Health Sciences Center, and the OU Office of Perinatal Quality Improvement.

The Becoming Baby-Friendly in Oklahoma project is actively recruiting hospitals to participate in the second group of hospitals working to pursue the Baby-Friendly designation. For more information about the Becoming Baby-Friendly in Oklahoma project or future training opportunities, contact Becky Mannel, BBFOK project lead, at rebecca-mannel@ouhsc.edu or visit www.oumedicine.com/breastfeeding.For more information about breastfeeding and having healthy babies, visit Preparing for a Lifetime, It’s Everyone’s Responsibility, http://iio.health.ok.gov, a statewide initiative working to promote child health and reduce infant deaths in Oklahoma.

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