March 25, 2016

Mercy Medical Center Maternity Services recognized for breastfeeding initiatives

Mercy Medical Center Maternity Services recently received the Ohio First Steps for Healthy Babies voluntary breastfeeding designation from the Ohio Hospital Association and the Ohio Department of Health. The breastfeeding award recognizes maternity centers in Ohio that have taken steps to promote, protect and support breastfeeding in their organization. A star is awarded for every two steps achieved in the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, as defined by the World Health Organization and Baby-Friendly USA. 

“Our maternity center cares for some of the most vulnerable members of our community –mothers and their newborns,” said Tom Cecconi, president and CEO of Mercy Medical Center. “Our team’s commitment to safe, healthy births; quality, compassionate care; and supportive patient education is among the many reasons why Mercy Maternity Services received this important designation.”

Mercy’s breastfeeding program is among several aimed at decreasing Ohio’s infant mortality rate, which is among the highest in the nation. Last year, in partnership with the Stark County Health Department, Mercy Medical Center and other local organizations implemented initiatives to address infant mortality in the community, especially the disparity that exists culturally among the African-American community. Another key initiative is safe sleep.

“Each week in Ohio three babies die due to unsafe sleep environments,” said Stacy M. Kovacs, director of Mercy Maternity Services. “Mercy intends to help reduce this number by modeling the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) recommendations for safe sleep: the infant sleeps ALONE, on his BACK, and in a CRIB or other safe sleep environment.”

Mercy Medical Center is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.

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