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Niagara County Officials Recognize Mount Saint Mary's Hospital in Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace Initiative

Author: Jacquelyn Langdon/Wednesday, January 24, 2018/Categories: Health

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Niagara County Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton awarded a Workplace Breastfeeding Friendly Certificate of Designation to Mount Saint Mary’s Hospital with Planning and Emergency Preparedness Director, Elise Pignatora, Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) on Wednesday, January 17. Mrs. Gina Penque, Mount Saint Mary’s Lactation Coordinator, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and Maryann Cogdill, RN Maternity Department Director accepted the award on behalf of Mount Saint Mary’s Hospital.  The award is part of an ongoing public health initiative to solicit partnerships, provide guidance, and support Niagara County businesses that accommodate lactating women in the workplace. Employers that provide accommodations are recognized for meeting or exceeding Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace guidelines. “Mount St Mary's is thrilled to be acknowledged as being a leader in supporting our breastfeeding employees and mothers in the community. It empowers women in our county to make the best decisions in preventive medicine. Certainly, breastfeeding is the best start for newborns,” stated Ms. Cogdill. 

Niagara County Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton awarded a Workplace Breastfeeding Friendly Certificate of Designation to Mount Saint Mary’s Hospital with Planning and Emergency Preparedness Director, Elise Pignatora, Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) on Wednesday, January 17. Mrs. Gina Penque, Mount Saint Mary’s Lactation Coordinator, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and Maryann Cogdill, RN Maternity Department Director accepted the award on behalf of Mount Saint Mary’s Hospital.  The award is part of an ongoing public health initiative to solicit partnerships, provide guidance, and support Niagara County businesses that accommodate lactating women in the workplace. Employers that provide accommodations are recognized for meeting or exceeding Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace guidelines. “Mount St Mary's is thrilled to be acknowledged as being a leader in supporting our breastfeeding employees and mothers in the community. It empowers women in our county to make the best decisions in preventive medicine. Certainly, breastfeeding is the best start for newborns,” stated Ms. Cogdill.  

From left: Karen Conlon, RN, Maternity Department Manager; Maryann Cogdill, RN, Maternity Department Director;
Jessica Visser, RN, Vice President of Patient Care Services; Gina Penque, IBCLC, RLC, Mount Saint Mary’s Lactation Coordinator;
Elise Pignatora, MS, CLC, Director of Public Health Planning and Emergency Preparedness; Daniel J. Stapleton, MBA, Public Health Director

The Niagara County Department of Health Lactation Program, managed by Ms. Pignatora aligns with the county mission to reduce infant mortality, illness and hospitalizations, as well as well as to prevent or lower the incidence of obesity, long-term immune disorders, chronic diseases and developmental delays.  “Breastfeeding benefits children, their families and our entire community.  Forging partnerships with businesses in this initiative helps bolster health and economic security in our Niagara County communities,” said Director Stapleton. Exclusively feeding babies human milk for the first 6 months of life and continuing through the first year of life or beyond, translates into a remarkable array of short and long term health benefits, as well as significant savings for employers and taxpayers. 

 “As a father of 3 healthy children, I can attest to the positive effects of breastfeeding on infant health and well-being,” Niagara County Legislator and Board of Health Member Richard Andres stated.  “As a steward of taxpayer dollars, better infant health and less need for formula cuts costs to insurances, as well as to public assistance programs.  Accommodating breastfeeding mothers in the workplace means mothers are more likely to continue to work, support their families and contribute to our economy,” he emphasized. According to a cost analysis published in the American Academy of Pediatrics, if 80% of US families complied with medical recommendations to breastfeed infants exclusively for the first 6 months, the US would save $10.5 billion and prevent 741 infant deaths.

“With 40% of our hospital employees being women of child bearing age, I saw a real opportunity to do a better job supporting them on their breastfeeding journeys.  I knew that if they felt supported, and valued as mothers by their employer, it would empower them to better care for the patients they serve daily.  The response has been tremendous,” remarked Ms. Penque. The hospital is a leading example of a breastfeeding friendly workplace. In addition to a highly dedicated lactation consultant to support staff and members of the community, the hospital boasts a dedicated lactation room, offers a monthly Breastfeeding Support Group, operates a Milk Bank Depot and ensures breastfeeding support at their onsite daycare center.

For information on the Niagara County breastfeeding friendly workplace or child care provider designation, please visit http://www.niagaracounty.com/health/Services/Lactation-and-Breastfeeding.



 

 

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