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News Releases
PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center caregivers earn health coach certification - 01/20/20

PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center recently recognized its first group of caregivers earning health coach certification through its Integrated Nutrition Pathways Scholarship program. The program, which awards PeaceHealth caregivers scholarships from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become certified health coaches, is the first of its kind to be offered by a health system in the United States. 

Through IIN’s advanced online learning platform, caregivers spent six months to a year completing a comprehensive program focused on nutrition and holistic health. As part of the effort to increase community health, PeaceHealth will also gift seven additional scholarships to community partners working in four key focus areas:

1) Nourishment: Enhancing family and child wellbeing to address food insecurities
2) Home: Improving access to supportive housing
3) Caring: Increasing knowledge, access and engagement with community caregivers and community health workers
4) Hope: Expanding education and access to treatment and prevention of dependency

“We are extremely excited to offer this important health benefit to our dedicated caregivers -- and now members of our community,” said Meghan McCarthy, PeaceHealth’s system director of community health. “I truly believe this program is positively changing the fabric of our communities.  It’s just one more example of how PeaceHealth is innovating and partnering to improve the health of our communities beyond our hospital and clinic walls.”

PeaceHealth’s Nutrition Pathways Scholarship program is available to any of its more than 16,000 caregivers. PeaceHealth simply asks participants to “pay it forward” by sharing their new knowledge and expertise with friends, family and colleagues who may benefit. A total of 77 graduates across PeaceHealth were honored, and more than 150 caregivers have received scholarships since the program launched last January. Local graduates include:

  • Kristin Andrews
  • Rachelle Cothren
  • Brianna Harper (Luckart)
  • Tanya Johnson
  • Kara Makin-Bond
  • Deanna Messner
  • Lisa Nienstaedt
  • John Riser
  • Igor Shapoval
  • Staci Sturges
  • Brooke Tanner
  • Stephanie Thomas

The Institute for Integrative Nutrition was founded in 1992 and is the largest nutrition school in the world. Visit the IIN’s website for more information about the health coach certification program.

About PeaceHealth: PeaceHealth, based in Vancouver, Wash., is a not-for-profit Catholic health system offering care to communities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. PeaceHealth has approximately 16,000 caregivers, a group practice with more than 1,200 providers and 10 medical centers serving both urban and rural communities throughout the Northwest. In 1890, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace founded what has become PeaceHealth. The Sisters shared expertise and transferred wisdom from one medical center to another, always finding the best way to serve the unmet need for healthcare in their communities. Today, PeaceHealth is the legacy of the founding Sisters and continues with a spirit of respect, stewardship, collaboration and social justice in fulfilling its Mission. Visit us online at peacehealth.org.

PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center Receives Prestigious Baby-Friendly Designation - 01/02/20

VANCOUVER, Wash. – PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center is proud to announce that it has achieved the highly prestigious international Baby-Friendly Designation after a rigorous review process conducted by Baby-Friendly USA, the organization responsible for bestowing this certification in the United States.

This distinguished honor demonstrates that PeaceHealth Southwest is adhering to the highest standards of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. These standards are built on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, a set of evidence-based practices recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) for optimal infant feeding support in first days of a newborn’s life.

"Our Family Birth Center has long been a recognized leader in the care of women and newborns,” said Barbara James, Director of Women’s & Children’s Services. “This designation reinforces our commitment that every woman who delivers a baby at our facility is given the resources, information and ongoing support needed to help her and her baby get the best, healthiest start in life.”

Of women delivering at PeaceHealth Southwest, 97% of them initiate breastfeeding. This percentage exceeds the latest CDC Breastfeeding Report Card that indicated 92.4% of babies born in Washington in 2015 initiated breastfeeding.

The positive health effects of breastfeeding are well documented and widely recognized by health authorities throughout the world. For example, the Surgeon General’s 2011 Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding stated that “Breast milk is uniquely suited to the human infant’s nutritional needs and is a live substance with unparalleled immunological and anti-inflammatory properties that protect against a host of illnesses and diseases for both mothers and children.”

PeaceHealth Southwest joins a growing list of 603 Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States. PeaceHealth Southwest's Birth Center provides an environment that supports breastfeeding and employs a staff that includes 13 board-certified lactation consultants. Additionally, it offers the community ongoing breastfeeding support groups at no charge along with other breastfeeding classes.

About PeaceHealth: PeaceHealth, based in Vancouver, Wash., is a not-for-profit Catholic health system offering care to communities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. It has approximately 16,000 caregivers, a group practice with more than 900 providers and 10 medical centers serving both urban and rural communities throughout the Northwest. In 1890, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace founded what has become PeaceHealth. The Sisters shared expertise and transferred wisdom from one medical center to another, always finding the best way to serve the unmet need for healthcare in their communities. Today, PeaceHealth is the legacy of the founding Sisters and continues with a spirit of respect, stewardship, collaboration and social justice in fulfilling its Mission. Visit us online at peacehealth.org.

About Baby-Friendly USA: As the accrediting body and national authority for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) in the United States, Baby-Friendly USA is responsible for upholding the highest standards in infant feeding care by coordinating and conducting all activities necessary to confer the prestigious Baby-Friendly designation and ensure the widespread adoption of the BFHI in the US. Learn more about Baby-Friendly USA and the BFHI at babyfriendlyusa.org.