Hospitals Celebrate Earning “Best for Babies” Award

Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) Commissioner John Dreyzehner, M.D., MPH, joined other state and local officials at the Tennessee State Capitol earlier this week to announce the first “BEST for Babies” awards. The awards celebrate hospital efforts to reduce infant deaths and give babies and their families the best possible start.

“BEST” stands for breastfeeding, early elective delivery reduction and safe sleep for Tennessee babies. Hospitals must meet the following criteria to receive the award:

  • Breastfeeding: An increase of 5 percent in newborn breastfeeding initiation rates from 2015 to 2016, or a minimum breastfeeding initiation rate of 90 percent in 2016.
  • Early elective delivery: Hospitals should have early elective delivery rates at or lower than 5 percent for 2016.
  • Safe sleep: Hospitals must have received Cribs for Kids® national safe sleep certification at a minimum of bronze level, submitted the TDH annual safe sleep hospital policy report for 2016 and demonstrate a minimum of 90 percent of cribs as safe in crib audits in the 2016 report.

Dreyzehner recognized seven birthing hospitals with the BEST recognition:

  • Erlanger Medical Center-Baroness Hospital, Chattanooga
  • Hardin Medical Center, Savannah
  • Indian Path Medical Center, Kingsport
  • Laughlin Memorial Hospital, Greeneville
  • NorthCrest Medical Center, Springfield
  • Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital, Nashville
  • Tennova Healthcare-Cleveland

TDH has been partnering with the state’s  birthing hospitals since 2014 to promote safe sleep practices for infants. The “BEST for Babies” honor is the next step forward in helping give Tennessee babies a great start to life.

“The criteria for the BEST recognition are challenging but not impossible,” said Jackie Moreland, THA quality improvement specialist. “We encourage all birthing hospitals to continue to meet the BEST criteria.”

The BEST award will be given annually to qualifying hospitals.

For more information, contact Jackie Moreland at THA, 615-401-7439.