When it comes to delivering babies, the greater Chattanooga region expects leadership from the Erlanger Health System. After all, more than 80% of the region’s babies are born at an Erlanger hospital each year. But now, thanks to an elite new designation, Erlanger childbirth services are also being recognized on a national, and even international, stage.
Out of 109 hospitals in Tennessee, only Erlanger has earned the Baby-Friendly designation for its flagship Baroness Campus in downtown Chattanooga. With this designation, Erlanger joins an elite group of only 219 hospitals in the entire country to meet stringent criteria set forth by the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a worldwide program sponsored by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO).
“We are very proud that the Baroness Campus is the first ‘Baby-Friendly Hospital’ in Tennessee,” says Traci Josephsen, Clinical Administrator for Women’s Services. “To have two of the world’s leading authorities on infant health, UNICEF and WHO, recognize our efforts speaks volumes about our commitment to giving every child born at Erlanger the healthiest possible start.”
To earn this honor, hospitals must pass a demanding on-site review from Baby-Friendly USA inspectors, making sure that hospitals follow Baby-Friendly guidelines. “Our nursing staff and physicians have worked hard for the past two-and-a-half years to implement the ‘Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding’ and earn this prestigious international honor,” says Jan Keys, Erlanger Chief Nursing Executive. The Ten Steps program is designed and proven to increase the initiation and duration of breastfeeding, which leads to healthier babies and more confident, better-prepared mothers.
For more information on the Baby-Friendly designation or the Ten Steps program, visit http://www.babyfriendlyusa.org/, or speak with Erlanger staff.