The University of Kansas Health System Great Bend Campus Receives High 5 for Mom & Baby Recognition

Great Bend, Kansas – The University of Kansas Health System Great Bend Campus continues its commitment to infant and maternal health by earning High 5 for Mom & Baby recognition to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration rates in Kansas.


High 5 for Mom & Baby is a program of the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund. It provides resources to help Kansas hospitals and birthing centers implement evidence-based practices to support successful breastfeeding, which improves maternal and infant health outcomes and reduces racial and ethnic health disparities.


To obtain High 5 for Mom & Baby recognition, facilities complete a voluntary and self-reported evaluation and follow at least 5 of the 10 evidence-based practices. These include:

  1. Facility has a written maternity care and infant feeding policy that addresses all 10 High 5 for Mom & Baby practices supporting breastfeeding

  2. Facility maintains staff competency in lactation support

  3. All pregnant women receive information and instruction on breastfeeding

  4. Staff assures immediate and sustained skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby after birth

  5. All families receive individualized infant feeding counseling

  6. Newborn infants receive no food or drink other than breastmilk unless medically indicated

  7. Practice “rooming in” to allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day

  8. Families are encouraged to feed their babies when the baby exhibits feeding cues, regardless of feeding methods

  9. No pacifiers or artificial nipples are given to breastfeeding infants

  10. Mothers receive options for breastfeeding support in the community upon discharge

“Breastfeeding plays a crucial role in the overall health of babies and mothers,” says Katie Schoenhoff, director of programs at the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund. “Following the High 5 for Mom & Baby practices demonstrates The University of Kansas Health System Great Bend Campus’ commitment to infant and maternal health by helping moms successfully initiate and maintain breastfeeding.”


According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, 60% of mothers stop breastfeeding sooner than they planned. Factors that influence how long or if a baby is breastfed include hospital practices, education and encouragement, policies or support in the workplace and access to community support. High 5 for Mom & Baby facilities are committed to helping women breastfeed successfully, through staff trained in breastfeeding best practices and policies to help mothers meet their breastfeeding goals.


Along with the recognition, the Great Bend Campus receives ongoing education and training opportunities, support and resources through a community of delivery centers and scholarship opportunities to further staff education.


For more information on High 5 for Mom & Baby, contact Gwen Whittit, program coordinator: coordinator@high5kansas.org or visit www.high5kansas.org/.

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About The University of Kansas Health System Great Bend Campus

The University of Kansas Health System Great Bend Campus is part of the premier academic health system providing a full range of care for the region and the state of Kansas. Other health system facilities are located in Kansas City, Kansas, and Topeka. The health system includes The University of Kansas Physicians, the largest multispecialty physician group in the region, and is affiliated with the University of Kansas Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Health Professions, and their leading-edge research projects. Services range from routine primary care to multispecialty care for complex conditions. The health system receives no state or local appropriations, instead relying on operating revenue, bonding authority and philanthropy. For more information, visit kansashealthsystem.com. For information specific to Great Bend Campus, visit kansashealthsystem.com/greatbend.


About the United Methodist Healthy Ministry Fund

The United Methodist Health Ministry Fund (Health Fund) is a statewide health foundation that facilitates conversation and action to improve the health and wholeness of Kansans ‒ especially those in rural and underserved communities. Through funding programs and ideas, providing hands-on expertise and convening influencers, the health fund advances innovative solutions to improve Kansans’ health for generations to come. Located in Hutchinson, Kansas, the health fund has provided more than $72 million in grants and program support since its inception in 1986.