Partnering: A Metro Health Department and Community Hospital Collaboration. Implementation of an Outpatient Lactation Clinic
Article first published online: 14 JUN 2012
© 2012 AWHONN, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing
Special Issue: 2012 Convention Proceedings
Volume 41, Issue s1, page S72, June 2012
How to Cite
Lamberton, K., Carlin, W., Wempe, J. and Ruedel, B. (2012), Partnering: A Metro Health Department and Community Hospital Collaboration. Implementation of an Outpatient Lactation Clinic. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, 41: S72. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.2012.01361_24.x
- Issue published online: 14 JUN 2012
- Article first published online: 14 JUN 2012
- obesity prevention;
- lactation support
Purpose for the Program
This project focused on an innovative collaboration between a metro health department and a community hospital to create a free outpatient lactation clinic for breastfeeding support. The Louisville Metro Health Department was awarded a 2-year, $7.9 million “Communities Putting Prevention to Work” grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The project focused on policy, environmental, and systems changes to address risk factors for obesity by improving access to healthy foods and increasing access to physical activity. Breastfeeding is the first step in accessing healthy nutrition to prevent obesity and other chronic diseases. The grant provided salary dollars for the international board certified lactation consultants staff and in-kind donations of space, supplies, office materials, and staff benefits were provided by the hospital. Baptist Hospital East was the first hospital in the area to develop the clinic and will continue the service after the grant because of the need and satisfaction expressed by the participants.
To enhance infant nutrition goals by increasing breastfeeding support and continuation to 6 months.
Implementation, Outcomes, and Evaluation
The setting was the Baptist Hospital East, a 511-bed community hospital, which had 3,026 deliveries and was responsible for 22.9% of all deliveries in the Louisville area between January 2010 and December 2010. Our goal is to promote, support, and protect the breastfeeding relationship across the continuum of pregnancy and the postpartum period. Prenatal breastfeeding education is currently provided, and breastfeeding inpatients receive support from five international board certified lactation consultants 7 days/week. The addition of an outpatient clinic allows an additional layer of patient support. The participants were breastfeeding women who resided in the metro area and gave birth in any of the metro area hospitals. The program was implemented on the following time line:
- July to October 2010: Explored space needs, full-time equivalent to meet staffing, and in-kind donations.
- October 2010: Location set; office retrofitted; charge structure to bill grant developed; and assessment/documentation forms created.
- November 2010: Opened for business on November 26, 2010; marketing to obstetric and pediatric offices.
- December 2010 to January 2011: Created promotional materials; publicized to service area residents.
- January 2011 to March 2012: Developed sustainability plan.
Midway through the grant, 258 women had received lactation support in the clinic. The majority were self-referred and reported high patient satisfaction for the service received. Outcomes data at the end of the grant period will be used to determine the effect of the clinic on supporting breastfeeding. A sustainability plan has been developed to continue the service after grant funding because of its value-added benefit to the patients.
Implications for Nursing Practice
Partnering between community agencies can lead to mutually beneficial outcomes.