Saint Francis Hospital, a member of Trinity Health of New England, has received $599,110 in extended funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to continue their partnership with the Hispanic Health Council and offer the Breastfeeding Heritage and Pride (BHP) peer counseling program. The extended funding will be used to continue BHP services in the Trinity Health of New England system while project leadership from Saint Francis Hospital, the Hispanic Health Council work with the Connecticut Department of Social Services on service reimbursement.
BHP is an evidenced-based program that seeks to increase breastfeeding initiation, duration and exclusivity rates among low-income mothers. Created by the Hispanic Health Council nearly 20 years ago, the program recruits women from the community who have successfully breastfed and trains them to counsel and educate their peers and provide hands-on support in clinical and community settings. Participants in the program receive prenatal education, in-hospital postpartum support, and postpartum support that includes home visit for up to one year postpartum. Due to its unique approach, the BHP program was recently highlighted by the World Health Organization in its report “Implementation Guidance on Counselling Women to Improve Breastfeeding Practices”.
In 2018 Saint Francis Hospital was awarded $2,082,631to extend BHP services across TH Of NE over three years. Since then, the team has also developed an implementation plan to scale BHP services throughout Connecticut and beyond and is currently focused on sustaining the program through healthcare payers. “We are incredibly grateful to the WKKF for recognizing the success of this program and enabling us to continue to care for the most vulnerable in our community.
These partnerships are the basis of our mission to honor the dignity of every person,” stated Timothy R. Stanton, Regional Vice President of Philanthropy and Chief Development Officer, Saint Francis Foundation.
BHP is currently offered at Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford, Conn, Saint Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, Conn and Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, Mass.