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Kaleida Health
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Buffalo, NY 14203

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OB/GYN Centers Receive Breastfeeding Friendly Practice Designation

Updated: 2/11/2015
Representatives from the Breastfeeding Friendly Practices accepted the designation awards on behalf of their facilities.

The New York State Department of Health awarded Kaleida Health’s OB/GYN Centers New York State Breastfeeding Friendly Practice designation during a ceremony on February 11, 2015. The OB/GYN Centers operated by Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo were among the first 14 local practices to receive this recognition for their outstanding achievement as part of Erie County’s “Breastfeeding Friendly” initiative.

The initiative focused on increasing the number of mothers who are breastfeeding exclusively (i.e. no formula) from hospital discharge through the first three months after birth among low income women who participate in WIC and Medicaid and live in communities of color in Erie County.

Human breast milk has the right amount of fat, sugar, water and protein that a baby needs, and it is much easier for a baby to digest breast milk than infant formula. Breast milk helps protect a baby from infections such as colds and also reduces the risk of allergies, obesity and illnesses such as ear infections, diarrhea and respiratory infections.

“Erie County is proud to be home to the first breastfeeding primary care practices in the state. Additionally, we are pleased to announce the opening of the first Baby Cafés® in New York State,” stated Gale R. Burstein, MD, MPH, Erie County Commissioner of Health. This innovative model provides professional and peer support to nursing moms and their families at no cost.

“We have had a focus for several years to increase the number of mothers who breastfeed in our communities,” said Barbara Neilson, MSN, WHNP, practice manager of OB/GYN Centers. “Applying for this special designation was a rigorous process of standardizing best practice models and distributing educational information at all seven of our outpatient OB/GYN Centers, educating our staff and providers, and partnering with various organizations in our community to achieve higher breastfeeding rates.” Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo was the only organization to have this many multiple sites receive the breastfeeding designation.

As a targeted intervention led by the Healthy Start Healthy Future for All Coalition, 12 community-based organizations in Erie County came together with the support of the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County and P2 Collaborative of Western New York. This initiative was originally funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), awarded by the New York State Department of Health.

Additional funding was secured from New York State Health Foundation, Health Foundation of Western and Central New York and National Association of County and City Health Officials. These funds will continue the progress by supporting additional Breastfeeding Friendly Medical Practices, maintain and expand community-based Baby Cafés®, promote Baby Friendly Hospital practices, and facilitate workplace lactation supports.