HONORED — From left, Andrea Ceigler, RN, OB Manager at Oneida Healthcare; Kathleen Woodruff, NP at Women’s Health Associates; Eric Faisst, Director of Public Health at MCDOH; Kristine Willey, RN, Manger of Women’s Health Associates; Desiree Stokes, LPN at Maternal Health Center; Chrystal Johnson, Public Health Educator II at MCDOH; Marian Thompson, NP at Women’s Health Associates; and Terri Dutcher, MA at Women’s Health Associates. (Photo submitted)

Oneida Healthcare receives Breastfeeding Friendly Practice Designation

Published Apr 16, 2018 at 4:00pm

ONEIDA — On April 11, representatives from the Madison County Department of Health (MCDOH) recognized two practices within Oneida Healthcare’s Circle of Care network, Women’s Health Associates and Maternal Health Center, as Breastfeeding Friendly Practices.

They represent the first in Madison County and the central NY region to obtain the Breastfeeding Friendly Practice Designation, a designation from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH).

Healthcare providers who receive the Breastfeeding Friendly Practice designation are recognized by their commitment to creating a breastfeeding friendly environment and receiving the necessary staff training to promote, support, and protect breastfeeding moms.

Though breastfeeding is not an option for all moms, according to the DOH, breastfeeding does provide many health benefits for both baby and mom that traditional baby formula cannot provide. 

“The health of our women and infants is foundational to the health of our community” said Eric Faisst, Director of Public Health from MCDOH.

“Central to their health is a woman’s decision to breastfeed. Health care providers, such as Oneida Healthcare play an integral role in promoting and supporting a woman’s decision to breastfeed which significantly benefits the current and future health of our communities. Women’s Health Associates and the Maternal Health Center have taken on that role; in fact they are the first providers in the central NY region to do so.”

To receive designation by the NYSDOH, healthcare practices are required to complete ten steps which focus on creating a breastfeeding friendly office, encouraging breastfeeding, and supporting mothers with the education and training needed to breastfeed safely.

The designation indicates a healthcare provider’s dedication to establishing optimal maternity and newborn care in support of breastfeedingduring preconception care, prenatal, postpartum, and ongoing care of the woman, the infant, and her family. 

“We commend our staff at Women’s Health Associates and Maternal Health Center for their dedication to receiving the clinical skills and education necessary to provide the highest level of support to babies and moms” said Jacqueline Dawe, RN, VP of Nursing at Oneida Healthcare.

“As healthcare providers, it is imperative that we have the knowledge, experience, and skills to provide our mothers with the tools required to make healthy decisions for them and their families. We are honored and proud to be the first in the central NY region to make this commitment to our patients’ well-being.” 

Women’s Health Associates, located at 139 Fields Drive, provides comprehensive Obstetrics and Gynecology services to area patients. Maternal Health Center, located at 221 Broad Street, offers Obstetrics for area Medicaid patients.

For more information about the Department of Health’s Breastfeeding Friendly Practice Designation go online to health.ny.gov.