Public Affairs & Media Relations
MUSC designated 'baby friendly'
Contact: Tony Ciuffo
CHARLESTON – The Medical University of South Carolina has been designated a “Baby-Friendly” birthing facility by Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. Currently only three percent of hospitals in the country are designated Baby-Friendly.
MUSC is one of three hospitals in South Carolina to earn this status, and the second hospital in the greater Charleston Area to achieve this designation.
The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.
“We are very proud to be the first academic medical center in South Carolina to achieve Baby-Friendly designation,” said Karen Driggers, nurse manager and team leader for Best Fed Beginnings Mother Baby Unit-Level 1 Nursery. "This is a huge win for all the mothers and babies cared for at MUSC. The hard work and dedication of every nurse, physician and support staff who all wanted the right thing for our patients made it possible.
“We hope that other hospitals in South Carolina will follow this path and that the physicians and nurses we train will carry this practice wherever they go," she said.
Based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, this award recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.
MUSC is also the first of 89 hospitals nationwide that is part of the Best Fed Beginnings Collaborative, an initiative of the CDC and NICHQ, to be designated as Baby-Friendly. Best Fed Beginnings is a first-of-its-kind, nationwide quality improvement initiative to help hospitals improve maternity care and increase the number of “Baby-Friendly”-designated hospitals in the United States.
Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. is the accrediting body for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in the United States. Go to http://www.babyfriendlyusa.org/get-started/the-guidelines-evaluation-criteria for more information on guidelines and evaluation criteria.
Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and residents, and has nearly 13,000 employees, including approximately 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $1.7 billion. MUSC operates a 750-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children's Hospital, the Ashley River Tower (cardiovascular, digestive disease, and surgical oncology), Hollings Cancer Center (one of 66 National Cancer Institute designated centers) and a leading Institute of Psychiatry. For more information on academic information or clinical services, visit www.musc.edu. For more information on hospital patient services, visit www.muschealth.com.