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AHN’s Jefferson Hospital Leads Region in Achieving Pennsylvania’s Keystone 10 Designation for Support of Breastfeeding Families

Thursday, June 14, 2018

JEFFERSON HILLS, Pa. – Jefferson Hospital, part of the Allegheny Health Network (AHN) is the first hospital in western Pennsylvania to achieve Keystone 10 designation, indicating Jefferson’s high level of support for breastfeeding families through the adoption and implementation of evidence-based practices.

Keystone 10 is a quality improvement breastfeeding initiative aimed at improving the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding for all Pennsylvania infants, mothers and families. The Pennsylvania Department of Health developed the Keystone 10 Initiative as a means of improving individual facility and state level breastfeeding care and rates and ultimately improving the health of mothers and babies. 

“From the time it opened four years ago as the Pittsburgh region’s first new obstetrics unit in 30 years, Jefferson Hospital’s Women and Infants Center has been dedicated to improving the health of women and babies with the most sophisticated care, delivered with great expertise and compassion,” said Louise Urban, president and CEO, Jefferson Hospital. “The Keystone 10 designation exemplifies the forward-thinking, patient-focused care offered at Jefferson Women and Infants Center.”

Keystone 10-designated facilities focus on breastfeeding initiation, exclusive breastfeeding, skin-to-skin contact and rooming-in, among other elements.  Keystone 10 is based on similar initiatives in other states that have shown success in assisting birthing facilities in the promotion of breastfeeding through establishment of breastfeeding policy, implementation of procedure improvements and supporting families in making informed feeding decisions. 

AHN’s Jefferson Women and Infants Center delivers about 1,000 babies a year and provides state-of-the-art Labor, Delivery, Recovery and Postpartum (LDRP) suites designed for women’s comfort, where the entire birth process takes place. The unit also features a Level II (continuing care) nursery for special needs, two dedicated cesarean-section rooms, 24/7 obstetric anesthesia and newborn services, a midwifery practice, the latest in infant security technology and an Austin’s Playroom.

“The Keystone 10 designation was a team effort by everyone at Jefferson Women and Infants Center, said David Logan, MD, director of obstetrics. “It reflects the team’s commitment to putting the health of women and their infants at the center of everything we do, using evidence-based practices to give mother and baby a head start on a long and healthy life.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, breastfed infants have a reduced chance of developing asthma, respiratory and ear infections, type 2 diabetes, obesity and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS.) Mothers who breastfeed reduce their chances of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

“Keystone 10 designation for Jefferson Hospital is a stepping-stone in the pathway to Baby Friendly designation,” said Joy Peters, DNP, RN, MSN, MBA, NEA-BC, Chief Nursing Officer.  The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global program launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to encourage the broad-scale implementation of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. The BFHI assists hospitals in giving mothers the information, confidence, and skills necessary to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies or safely feed with formula, and gives special recognition to hospitals that have done so.

“South Hills women and infants experience the highest quality innovative and personalized care at Jefferson Hospital without needing to leave their local communities,” said Allan Klapper, MD, Chair, AHN Institute for Women & Children. “Congratulations to the entire team at Jefferson Women and Infants Center on being the first center in the Pittsburgh area to achieve Keystone 10 designation."