Hospital to celebrate award and World Breastfeeding Week with ice cream social on Thursday, August 3
Aspen, Colo. (July 25, 2023): Aspen Valley Hospital has long been recognized for its work to educate and provide breastfeeding support for Roaring Fork Valley mothers and their newborn babies, and this summer it was honored once again by the state of Colorado for its strong baby-friendly policies with the Celebrate 6 Award of Breastfeeding Excellence.
The Hospital plans to celebrate the award as well as World Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month with an ice cream social and baby stroller giveaway from 11:30 am – 2:00 pm on Thursday, August 3, on the Aspen Valley Hospital lawn. Moms, dads and the community are invited to drop by to meet their neighbors, enjoy some ice cream and enter to win a Mompush Ultimate Baby Stroller.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) in June awarded Aspen Valley Hospital and 44 other hospitals with the Celebrate 6 Award of Breastfeeding Excellence for its implementation of at least six of the Baby-Friendly® Initiative’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. The award recognizes hospitals for their efforts to promote breastfeeding and offer healthier food and beverage options for families through the Colorado Healthy Hospital Compact and Colorado Baby-Friendly® Hospital Collaborative.
Aspen Valley Hospital is among a handful of hospitals in the United States with the prestigious Baby-Friendly® Hospital designation by Baby-Friendly USA, the accrediting body that oversees the national Baby-Friendly® Hospital Initiative. Only 14 hospitals in Colorado and 604 nationwide are Baby-Friendly® designated facilities, which equates to less than 10 percent of the 6,129 hospitals operating across the country.
“Aspen Valley Hospital’s Baby-Friendly® designation means new mothers in the Roaring Fork Valley are receiving the gold standard of maternity and infant practice,” says Heather Knott, RN, BSN, Childbirth Educator and International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant who coordinates the lactation and childbirth programs at the Hospital. “Research has shown that strong breastfeeding policies and practices improve maternal and infant health outcomes.”
The Hospital provides mothers with the tools and follow-up support to be successful with a breastfeeding-only strategy for the first six months of their child’s life, and to continue breastfeeding after solid foods are introduced, at least through the first year. The program includes prenatal education, ongoing post-natal support with one-on-one counseling from certified breastfeeding/lactation consultants, and weekly Bosom Buddies breastfeeding support group meetings in Aspen and El Jebel.
At the June award ceremony, CDPHE also honored Aspen Valley Hospital and all 14 Baby-Friendly® designated facilities in the state for receiving and maintaining the prestigious certification. CDPHE strongly supports maternity facilities in pursuing Baby-Friendly® designation through the Colorado Baby-Friendly Hospital Collaborative, which provides free training and resources to help hospitals implement evidence-based policies and practices that support breastfeeding and optimal infant care.
“These hospitals have worked hard to create change that supports Colorado families to breastfeed. With over 90 percent of Colorado families choosing to breastfeed their children each year, such policies and practices are essential,” said Stacy Miller, breastfeeding specialist at CDPHE and facilitator of the Colorado Baby-Friendly Hospital Collaborative.
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ABOUT ASPEN VALLEY HOSPITAL
Founded in 1891, Aspen Valley Hospital is one of the most sophisticated rural hospitals in the U.S. With 25 beds, AVH is designated as a critical access hospital and level III trauma center, meeting the needs of the Aspen and Roaring Fork Valley communities, plus thousands of visitors from around the world every year. Combining the warmth and friendliness of a small town with the technical expertise of a major medical center, the Hospital has been recognized with numerous awards, including a Five-Star Rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for Patient Experience, among others. The Hospital offers a full range of services with board-certified specialists in 25 fields of medicine, with expanded expertise in orthopaedics and sports medicine through partnership with The Steadman Clinic. For over 130 years, Aspen Valley Hospital has been working to deliver extraordinary healthcare in an environment of excellence, compassion and trust. Learn more at aspenhospital.org or 970.925.1120.