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Breastfeeding Friendly Washington
In partnership with the Washington State Hospital Association, the Washington State Department of Health launched Breastfeeding Friendly Washington Hospitals on August 3. This voluntary program recognizes birthing hospitals that support breastfeeding and is part of Governor Jay Inslee’s Healthiest Next Generation Initiative.
This program is based on the World Health Organization’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. The steps were adapted for birthing hospitals in Washington, using three tiers of recognition (bronze, silver and gold). Successful applicants will receive window decals, a letter and certificate of achievement from Secretary of Health John Wiesman, and a CD with logo files and a sample press release. Hospitals that qualify for the Gold Recognition Level will also receive a plaque.
This program is not only about recognition for hospitals, but it is also a vehicle for families to learn about how hospitals are supporting breastfeeding. The promotional package hospitals receive will help with this awareness. Prospective parents can also search our website for a Breastfeeding Friendly Hospital nearby.
Recognizing that Washington's future depends on the health of our children, Governor Inslee launched the Healthiest Next Generation Initiative to help our next generation be the healthiest ever. Supporting breastfeeding is one of the initiative’s three areas of focus.
To learn more about the program, contact Michele Lord, Department of Health Breastfeeding Coordinator at email@example.com or 360-236-3625. To share how you are creating the healthiest next generation, join us at #HealthiestNextGen.
Today in public health
Like them, love them, or don’t understand them—infographics are here, have been here for a while, and don’t look like they’re going anywhere anytime soon.
Infographics can be a powerful tool to get across data and complex information in a digestible way. If you’re creating your own infographics, here are a few tips:
- Your infographic should be based in data. Use data relevant to the issue or topic, make sure it’s from a reputable source, and add a reference.
- The design should be simple and clear. Colors, numbers, and images should reinforce the message of your data; not overwhelm it. It shouldn’t be too long or too big to share, and make sure to add some white space.
- Your graphic should tell a story to a specific audience. It should be a story with few words, but it should be tailored—like all other effective materials and messages—to your target audience.
If you’re more interested in getting some already made infographics, checkout the American Public Health Association’s Get Ready graphics. These are perfect to post with winter storms and flu season right around the corner.
There are a lot of different national health awareness month themes these days. Do you have any health awareness activities planned for October? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has 26 different themes listed on their website. Make sure to look through the materials on H.E.R.E. to see if we can help you plan your observance. Some materials relevant for October awareness months include:
- Safe Sleep for Your Baby Every Time, appropriate for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Week.
- Depression and Other Mood Disorders During Pregnancy and Postpartum: Screening and Managing Resources and Referrals, appropriate for National Depression Screening Day.
- Oral Health Care for Adults, appropriate for Dental Hygiene Month.
- National Diabetes Prevention Program: You can Make a Change for Life, appropriate for American Diabetes Month.
National Health Observance Spotlight:
Breast Cancer screening saves lives
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it is a great time to educate Washingtonians about breast cancer and the importance of screening.
One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some time during her life. In Washington, the number of new breast cancer cases is higher than the national average. We can do more to make sure women take advantage of life-saving screenings in our state.
There is good news:
- Regular mammograms (an X-ray of the breast) are the best test to find breast cancer early, sometimes up to three years before it can be felt. When breast cancer is found early, many women go on to live long and healthy lives.
- Under the Affordable Care Act, nearly all health insurance plans cover screening mammograms at no cost.
- Refer low-income, uninsured or underinsured women ages 50-64 to the Breast, Cervical and Colon Health Program (BCCHP) at www.doh.wa.gov/BCCHP
Who should get screened for breast cancer?
- Women ages 50 and over.
- Women ages 40 to 49 years old should talk to their healthcare provider about when to start and how often to get screened.
- Women with a family history should talk to their healthcare provider about their risk and when to start screening.
For more information:
- Visit the Department of Health’s page on breast cancer and the Breast, Cervical and Colon Health Program.
- Watch an interactive tutorial on breast cancer on healthfinder.gov’s Get Tested for Breast Cancer webpage.
- Explore the American Cancer Society’s Information for Health Care Professionals to find fact sheets for clients, including this Breast Density Flyer.
Questions? Contact Amanda Kimura at Amanda Amanda Kimura@doh.wa.gov or 360-236-3598.
Something to think about
The justice system and health
Many experts talk about the school-to-prison pipeline and its impact on educational outcomes and health, but where did this pipeline come from?
Dr. Georges Benjamin, Executive Director, American Public Health Association, explains the role of the justice system on health in this short video. When thinking about health outcomes, we often think about the impact of where we live, the schools we go to, and the access we have to healthcare. But, especially for black and Latino communities, the justice system is an important piece of the puzzle.
Dr. Benjamin explains, “An 18-year-old male in California was more likely to be arrested than to vote in 2014.”
We know that blacks and Latinos are arrested and incarcerated at far greater rates than whites, even when it comes to non-violent crimes. What is the pipeline doing to their health and to their futures? Dr. Benjamin explains that this phenomenon is relatively new. In the 1980s, we thought that the justice system had a role in “correcting” health issues like mental illness and drug addiction. But the justice system only makes these issues worse. It’s time for public health to get involved through preventative efforts. Check out #healthnotjails for California’s conversation around the justice system and the American Civil Liberties Union for more information about the school-to-prison pipeline.
New events on H.E.R.E.
For a complete list of trainings, conferences, and webinars check out our Trainings and Events page.
H.E.R.E. is taking nominations for inspiring work to spotlight!
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