McLeod Health Dillon Earns Prestigious Baby-Friendly® Designation


The McLeod Dillon Women’s Services Team of Sharhonda Johnson, Kayla Heffner, Pat Jones, Pam Salmon and Tracey Campbell worked hard to earn the Baby-Friendly® Designation.

McLeod Health Dillon is pleased to announce that the hospital has earned the prestigious international recognition as a “Baby-Friendly® Designated” birth facility.

Based on the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding,” a bundle of science-based practices established by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as global criteria to improve breastfeeding rates, the Baby-Friendly designation recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies. These criteria are also endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

As a Baby-Friendly hospital, McLeod Health Dillon has demonstrated that their policies and practices meet the gold standard for mother/baby care related to breastfeeding.

This designation also indicates that McLeod Health Dillon supports and promotes the importance of mother and infant bonding through skin-to-skin – placing baby on mom’s bare chest soon after delivery – and rooming-in – keeping the baby in the room with his parents during the hospital stay. While these practices promote bonding, skin-to-skin and rooming-in also offer many health benefits to both the mom and her baby.

“Achieving Baby-Friendly designation illustrates the hospital’s commitment to patient and family-centered care,” said Dr. Rebecca Craig with McLeod OB/GYN Dillon. “This initiative means our mothers and families are getting the optimum care and encouragement that has been proven to reduce risks to the baby and mom.”

“This recognition is not just significant for the McLeod Health Dillon team members who have worked so hard to obtain it – it is also a wonderful distinction for our region. We join a limited number of hospitals and birth centers to receive this designation,” said Joan Ervin, Administrator of McLeod Health Dillon.

Though there are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide, Baby-Friendly USA’s announcement notes that there are only 514 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States. The Baby-Friendly designation is given after a rigorous on-site survey is completed. The designation is maintained by continuing to practice the Ten Steps as demonstrated by quality processes.

“Our team has worked toward the Baby-Friendly designation for more than four years,” explained Pat Jones, RN, Director of Women’s Services at McLeod Health Dillon. “This initiative, along with other enhancements at our hospital, are important for community health throughout the region and will lead to healthier babies and moms.”

The Baby-Friendly designation began in 1991 in response to rising infant mortality rates around the world. To become Baby Friendly, a hospital must demonstrate its commitment to a whole philosophy of care that helps women understand the benefits of breastfeeding and be successful at it.

Baby-Friendly USA is the accrediting body for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) in the United States, a global program sponsored by WHO and UNICEF which encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.