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Published on September 16, 2015

NH Jax named a First Coast innovator by Florida Surgeon General

Florida Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong visited Jacksonville Sept. 11 to celebrate Naval Hospital (NH) Jacksonville and St. Vincent’s Medical Center Southside certifications as “Baby Friendly” hospitals.

NH Jacksonville was the first hospital in North Florida certified Baby Friendly (in 2011), and St. Vincent’s Medical Center Southside certified in 2014. There are currently 10 Baby Friendly hospitals in Florida.

“As Baby Friendly hospitals, Naval Hospital Jacksonville and St. Vincent’s Medical Center Southside are promoting healthy babies and mothers through breast-feeding,” said Armstrong. “These hospitals are leaders for innovation on the First Coast.”

Baby Friendly certification is given by Baby-Friendly USA, part of a global initiative sponsored by World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). It’s awarded to hospitals that meet and maintain multiple standards that support optimal care for infant feeding and mother – baby bonding.

Breast-feeding is supported by the Florida Department of Health as well as major health organizations such as WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. U.S. infant mortality rates are reduced by 21 percent in breast-fed infants. Breast-feeding provides disease-fighting antibodies for baby, and reduces the chance of some cancers for mom.

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