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Southcoast Hospitals Group has earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval.

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For Immediate Release:
August 1, 2011

Tobey Hospital receives Baby-Friendly Designation

First community hospital in Massachusetts to receive prestigious designation

WAREHAM, Mass. — Tobey Hospital announced today that it has received Baby-Friendly Designation from Baby Friendly USA, a non-profit organization that implements the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative in the United States. Tobey Hospital is the third facility and the first community hospital in Massachusetts to receive this prestigious designation.

"Tobey Hospital met numerous requirements to achieve the Baby-Friendly Designation, including the practice of 'rooming in,' which allows mothers and infants to remain together 24-hours a day, providing breastfeeding education to all staff and encouraging skin-to-skin contact immediately after delivery," said Liz Westwater, Project Manager for Baby-Friendly USA.

Tobey Hospital also provides breastfeeding support after discharge through a bi-monthly support group and outpatient visits with certified lactation counselors.

"The outstanding work done by our hospital's nurses combined with the strong support of our administration that always puts patients first, enables us to provide exceptional care for babies that are born at Tobey Hospital," said Steven Mendes, MD, a pediatrician at Tobey and President of Southcoast Hospitals Group Medical Staff. "It was a huge undertaking to meet the requirements for this prestigious designation, but has enabled us to provide better care for the families in our community."

"This designation is a significant achievement for Southcoast," said Janine Fontaine, RN, Director of Women's Health at Southcoast Hospitals Group. "Tobey Hospital has been recognized for delivering the best care to our breastfeeding families. I see this as a positive step forward for Southcoast Hospitals' breastfeeding practices within our organization."

"The nursing and medical staffs are dedicated to providing the best care to the patients who deliver at our hospital," said Mary Ellen Boisvert, RN, Nurse Manager of the Family Centered Unit at Tobey Hospital. "Breastfeeding is the optimal feeding option, so we do our best to give mom and baby the best start to the lifelong benefits of breastfeeding."

About the Baby-Friendly Initiative

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to encourage and recognize hospitals and birth centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding. The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals in giving breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence, and skills they need to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies. For more information visit

Stephanie Poyant
Public Information Officer
Phone: 508-961-5280
Pager: 508-387-2532
Fax: 508-961-5876

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Southcoast Health System is a community based health delivery system with multiple access points, offering an integrated continuum of health services throughout Southeastern Massachusetts and East Bay, Rhode Island.

It includes the three hospitals that make up Southcoast Hospitals Group — Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford and Tobey Hospital in Wareham.

Southcoast provides advanced clinical services, such as open heart surgery, angioplasty and heart rhythm services, comprehensive cancer care, neurosurgery, weight loss surgery, orthopedic surgery, advanced imaging services and is the only provider of maternity services in the region.

Southcoast is a not-for-profit charitable organization that depends on the support of the community to provide services.

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