State works with hospitals to improve community wellness and the health of moms, babies
Good Samaritan Medical Center is one of 45 hospitals recently recognized by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for efforts to promote breastfeeding and offer healthier food and beverage options through the Colorado Healthy Hospital Compact and Colorado Baby-Friendly Hospital Collaborative. The initiatives are part of the state’s work to promote healthy eating and active living to reduce rates of death and disease from chronic illness among Coloradans.
Good Samaritan Medical Center was recognized at the Gold Level for the Healthy Hospital Compact.
DeNae Alva, director of food and nutrition services at Good Samaritan Medical Center, said her team has enjoyed partnering with CDPHE on this compact over the past three years.
“Each year we have made small changes to leave a large, lasting impact on our caregivers, patients and the community,” said Alva.
Since it began in 2014, the Healthy Hospital Compact has supported hospitals to change food and drink options in hospital cafeterias, vending machines and patient menus.
Good Samaritan is part of SCL Health, now Intermountain Health. Other Intermountain Health hospitals recognized for the Healthy Hospital Compact program were St. Mary’s Medical Center, Platte Valley Medical Center, Lutheran Medical Center and Saint Joseph Hospital.
The five Intermountain Health care sites in Colorado were among 41 hospitals with the Celebrate 6 Award of Breastfeeding Excellence. The hospitals have implemented at least six of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. These are proven policies and practices known to increase breastfeeding success and improve maternal and infant health outcomes.
“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.
The number of Baby-Friendly-designated hospitals in Colorado has grown from three in 2013 to 14 in 2023. Good Samaritan has been a Baby-Friendly-designated hospital since 2004.
Learn more about the Colorado Healthy Hospital Compact and the Colorado Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative at cdphe.colorado.gov/colorado-healthy-hospital-compact and at BreastfeedColorado.com.