Community Memorial Health System, Where Excellence Begins With Caring
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Media Room

News Releases / 2016

Community Memorial Hospital Selected to Join Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative

Ventura, California, 01/22/2016

Community Memorial Hospital has been selected to be among the first hospitals in the nation to join the EMPower Initiative to enhance maternity care practices and work toward achieving the Baby Friendly USA© designation.

“We are very excited to be at the forefront of this initiative,” said Megan Rodarte, Director, Maternal Child Health Services at CMH. “It will enhance our knowledge and ability to best assist our patients in making the most informed decision regarding their infant feeding choice. We already provide the most comprehensive breastfeeding services for families in the area and through this partnership we will be given the opportunity to learn from some of the top experts. We want to ensure we are providing the best hospital practices to support breastfeeding and also strengthen our ability to provide the necessary ongoing support to assist families to continue breastfeeding after discharge from the hospital. The ultimate goal is healthier babies and mothers in our community.”

As part of this effort, CMH will receive ongoing support in breastfeeding practices from experienced coaches, as well as training and resource support in lactation education. The effort supports evidence-based practices for prenatal and maternity settings known as the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, an effort to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that complete the Ten Steps. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, launched in the United States in 1996, designates as “Baby-Friendly” hospitals that meet the criteria for women to initiate and continue with breastfeeding.

EMPower is a hospital-based quality improvement initiative focusing on maternity care practices leading to Baby-Friendly designation. Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, EMPower is aimed at increasing breastfeeding rates throughout the United States and promoting and supporting optimal breastfeeding practices toward the ultimate goal of improving the public’s health. The EMPower Team is led by ABT Associates, Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute, and the Center for Public Health Quality.

For more information about the Baby-Friendly designation and the Maternal Child Health Services at Community Memorial Hospital visit or call (805) 652-5011.