Otter Tail County Public Health Department Receives Breastfeeding Friendly Award
December 19, 2018-Otter Tail County- Otter Tail County Public Health has received a Breastfeeding Friendly Health Department Award from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) for its contributions to the health of mothers and their babies.
The designation acknowledges a county health department’s commitment to acting as a model for the community by supporting healthy families and receiving the business benefits of supporting nursing mothers. MDH recognizes county health departments, workplaces, maternity centers and child care facilities that have demonstrated their commitment to supporting breastfeeding mothers.
Breastfeeding is a foundational way to ensure that babies receive optimal nutrition during the first formative years of life. Studies show that infants who are breastfed have better health outcomes as they grow.
“We know we do really cool things at Otter Tail County Public Health to encourage and support breastfeeding families and to promote a breastfeeding friendly culture in our community,” said Peggy Talsness, retiring WIC Coordinator. “The Otter Tail County breastfeeding initiation rate in 2017 was 92.4% so almost all of our babies start out breastfeeding. We have exceeded the Healthy People 2020 goal for initiation of 81.9% for 6 years straight. A healthy pregnancy followed by encouragement for breastfeeding send our littlest Otter Tail County residents on a path of lifelong health.”
The county was recognized at the silver level. Awards are designated at gold, silver and bronze levels, which correspond to the number of steps an organization met in a 10-step process. MDH’s Breastfeeding Friendly recognition program is supported by the state Women, Infants and Children program (WIC) and the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP).
“The application process and receiving of the Breastfeeding Friendly Health Department award demonstrates our commitment as a health department to support and promote breastfeeding. We do this through the ongoing education and training support we offer our staff, as well as the support and encouragement offered to individuals and communities at various levels,” commented Jody Lien, Public Health Director. “This award is a great way to recognize the work of our staff, and for Peggy, as her dedication to breastfeeding support championed our application.”
To learn more about the application process for the Breastfeeding Friendly recognition program, visit www.health.state.mn.us/breastfeedingfriendly. For information on the Otter Tail County WIC program call 998-8320 or visit https://ottertailcountymn.us/content-page/wic/