Opelousas General Health System Achieves Louisiana’s Highest Breastfeeding Quality Designation Implementing Internationally Recognized Best Practices
OPELOUSAS, La (press release) – Opelousas General Health System proudly announces its recent recognition as a Gift Shining Star designated hospital, which is the highest designation within The Gift program. The Gift is a quality improvement initiative and hospital designation program through the Louisiana Department of Health – Office of Public Health – Bureau of Family Health. Louisiana birthing facilities that achieve rigorous standards of performance in outcomes and participation as defined by the program are eligible for either Gift or Gift Shining Star designation.
Birthing facilities are reviewed for their performance on specific maternity care practices and policies that are aligned with the evidence-based, internationally recognized Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding from the WHO/UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. Additionally, these facilities are assessed for their degree of participation in quality improvement activities and implementation of available patient education materials. Policy development, education of staff, patient education and provision of discharge resources for breastfeeding mothers are key components of the program.
“We are thrilled to join the family of birthing facilities in the state that have received The Gift Shining Star designation,” said Kenneth Cochran, DSc, FACHE, president and CEO, Opelousas General Health System. “This achievement demonstrates our team’s commitment to offering quality, patient-centered care and highlights improvements our hospital has made to help produce better outcomes for all mothers and infants.”
The Gift is an evidence-based designation program for Louisiana birthing facilities designed to increase breastfeeding rates and hospital success by improving the quality of maternity services and enhancing patient-centered care. The Gift Shining Star designation gives Opelousas General Health System a better opportunity to achieve further certifications and accreditations as well as meet national and international quality measures and standards of care.
“Our goal is to provide mothers and babies with the very best information and tools at this crucial moment in their lives and we are able to do so through valuable hospital partners like Opelousas General Health System,” said Marci Brewer, Neonatal Initiatives Program Manager, Bureau of Family Health. “The Gift program encourages continued progress toward the pursuit of the international designation, Baby-Friendly, a global initiative to promote hospitals and birthing centers that offer optimal care in lactation services.” Opelousas General Health System was the first hospital in Acadiana to attain the Baby-Friendly designation in 2015.