Holy Cross Hospital is Among the First in the Nation to Join EMPower Initiative

baby feet

Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, program aims to increase breastfeeding rates

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (August 21, 2015) – Holy Cross Hospital is among the first hospitals in the nation to join the EMPower Initiative to enhance maternity care practices that support achieving a Baby-Friendly USA© designation.

Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, EMPower's mission is to increase breastfeeding rates throughout the United States and promote and support optimal breastfeeding practices with the ultimate goal of improving the public’s health.

The initiative continues Holy Cross Hospital’s tradition of bringing the very best in technology and care models to moms and babies. Holy Cross was the first hospital in Broward County to offer a Skin to Skin program, which promotes bonding and affects the development of children by keeping babies and their mothers together immediately following birth with no separation.

As part of the EMPower Initiative, Holy Cross Hospital will receive ongoing support in breastfeeding practices from experienced coaches, as well as training and resource support in lactation education. Hospitals that join the EMPower Initiative support evidence-based practices for prenatal and maternity settings known as the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.

EMPower is a two-year hospital-based quality improvement initiative focused on implementing maternity practices that lead to the Baby-Friendly designation. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 1991 and launched in the United States in 1996. It encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that complete the Ten Steps and designates hospitals that meet the criteria for women to initiate and continue with breastfeeding as “Baby-Friendly.”

The non-profit Holy Cross Hospital is in the process of a multi-year renovation of its maternity unit to create an enhanced birth experience for families while providing advanced clinical services including: a level-two neonatal intensive care unit for babies born as early as 32 weeks, accommodations for two overnight family members in every room, direct access to nurses via mobile phones, a well-baby nursery and more.

For more information about Holy Cross Hospital, call 954-771-8000 or visit Holy-Cross.com.

A part of Trinity Health, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Holy Cross Hospital is a full-service, non-profit Catholic hospital operating in the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy. Since opening its doors in 1955, the 557-bed hospital has offered progressive services and programs to meet the evolving healthcare needs of Broward County. Today, Holy Cross has more than 600 physicians on staff representing more than 40 specialties and more than 3,000 employees. To learn more about Holy Cross Hospital, visit holy-cross.com, “like” Holy Cross Hospital, Fort Lauderdale on Facebook, or follow @holycrossfl on Twitter.