May 8, 2019

Stormont Vail Health Receives Project of the Year Award

Stormont Vail Health received the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund’s 2018 Janet Sevier Gilbreath Special Project Recognition Award for its Integrating Community Prenatal Breastfeeding Support project at a May 7 celebration in Hutchinson.

The award, in honor of the Fund’s first Board chair, is presented each year to one outstanding project selected by the Board of Directors from among all current funded projects.

Most mothers choose their infant feeding preference prior to delivery. However, current health care practice provides little direct information and support for breastfeeding during prenatal care. In response to this knowledge, Stormont Vail Health staff desired to be proactive in providing prenatal breastfeeding education and resources to expectant mothers as they are making this important decision for their child. The Obstetric Care Nurse Navigator position was created by Stormont Vail Health to lead the expansion of educational services to expectant mothers and staff at the largest obstetric practice in Shawnee County and at the local health department, where 70% of expectant mothers are Medicaid recipients.  The OB Nurse Navigator position was created with the expectation of providing prenatal women extensive education on the benefits of breastfeeding and information on hospital and community breastfeeding support resources and to assure continuity of care for these women through the completion of their breastfeeding experience.

Stormont Vail delivers approximately 2,000 babies annually – nearly 65% of all births in the region. Through the development of the OB Nurse Navigator position, the facility saw exclusive breastfeeding increase from 47% in 2016 to 76% in 2018.  Additionally, exclusive breastfeeding rates for mothers previously seen by the Nurse Navigator was 75% by the end of the grant, which, according to Joint Commission standards, places Stormont Vail Health in the top 10% of all hospitals for breastfeeding best practice. Furthermore, 88% of all women who delivered at Stormont Vail between January and June of 2018 initiated breastfeeding while in the hospital (up four percent from the prior year) and 76% of them continued this practice exclusively, offering no supplemental formula to their infant – an 8% increase over the prior year.

The Stormont Vail OB Nurse Navigator met with expectant mothers at the hospital clinic and at the Shawnee County Health Department.  By the completion of the grant, the OB Nurse Navigator had met with 3,436 mothers.  There were numerous other contact points which reached a total of 5,760 mothers through prenatal education classes and support provided by community outreach. In addition to supporting these mothers, the OB Nurse Navigator provided 18 breastfeeding educational offerings for staff at the hospital and the health department to further encourage sustainability and support of Stormont’s efforts.  The senior leadership of Stormont Vail Health view the Nurse Navigation service as a very important investment for their patients and were committed, from the inception of this grant, to fully sustain this position at the conclusion of the grant. For these accomplishments and for the leadership and service to expectant mothers and their infants, Stormont Vail Health is presented the 2018 Janet Sevier Gilbreath Special Project Recognition award for the work of its Obstetric Care Nurse Navigator program.

Representing the project at the awards ceremony were Karen Copeland, RN, Clinical Nurse Leader; Christy Crawford, RN, Director, Birthplace, Maternal Fetal Medicine and Breastfeeding Center; Libby Averill Rosen, PhD, RN, IBCLC, Professor of Nursing, Baker University – Stormont Vail Campus, and Randy Peterson, recently retired CEO.

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