WBEZ | Illinois Department of Public Health http://www.wbez.org/tags/illinois-department-public-health Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Women’s hospital aims for ‘baby friendly’ status http://www.wbez.org/story/women%E2%80%99s-hospital-aims-%E2%80%98baby-friendly%E2%80%99-status-96224 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2012-February/2012-02-09/breast feeding_Flickr_thekmancom.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="Northwestern Memorial’s Prentice Women’s Hospital in Chicago. (AP/File)" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-08/Prentice.jpg" style="margin: 9px 18px 6px 1px; float: left; width: 254px; height: 380px;" title="The facility, part of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, delivers about 12,000 babies a year. (AP/File)">A hospital that delivers more than a quarter of babies born in Chicago is entering an international program that aims to improve the health of both newborns and their mothers. The program focuses on breastfeeding.</p><p>Prentice Women’s Hospital, part of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, is planning to follow 10 guidelines set by the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a program sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund, also known as UNICEF.</p><p>The guidelines include helping mothers begin breastfeeding within an hour of birth, providing infants no food or drink other than breast milk unless medically necessary, giving no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding babies and allowing mothers and newborns to room together around the clock.</p><p>Prentice, one of eight Chicago hospitals to apply for the baby-friendly status so far, delivers about 12,000 infants a year, more than any other facility in the city. The path toward the designation includes extensive staff training and new hospital policies. The process could last years.</p><p>“All the staff in the hospital will get some exposure to what it means to be a baby-friendly hospital,” said Adam Becker, executive director of the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children, a federally funded group that works with the city to help hospitals enter the international program. “Then there are many categories of staff that do more hands-on training.”</p><p>“If Prentice takes all these steps,” Becker added, “roughly 27 percent of babies born in Chicago and their mothers will have access to the most supportive environment possible to encourage breastfeeding from birth.”</p><p>But the program has a downside, according to Dr. Maura Quinlan, vice chairwoman of the Illinois section of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “The main issue is time, especially documenting the whole process and the 10 steps,” she said. “I don’t think many smaller hospitals have the resources to go through the application.”</p><p>“The designation is something the hospital can show on its website but it doesn’t mean that other hospitals don’t provide the same services,” said Quinlan, who delivers babies at MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn.</p><p>Prentice’s quest for baby-friendly status marks a turnaround of sorts. Years ago the hospital eliminated many of its lactation-specialist positions.</p><p>Illinois birth-certificate data for the six months ending last July 31 suggest that about 80 percent of Prentice newborns breastfed there. By that measure, the hospital ranked sixth among 19 facilities that deliver babies in the city.</p><p>The first hospital in Chicago to apply for the baby-friendly status was Holy Cross last summer. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/after-wbez-report-hospital-steps-breastfeeding-efforts-90006">A top official there said a WBEZ report</a> about the hospital’s breastfeeding performance made improvement a priority.</p><p>The other Chicago applicants include Mount Sinai Hospital, St. Anthony Hospital, the University of Illinois Medical Center, St. Joseph Hospital, Resurrection Medical Center and Roseland Community Hospital.</p><p>More than 15,000 facilities in 134 countries have earned the baby-friendly status since the program’s 1991 launch, according to UNICEF. In the United States, just 125 hospitals had received the designation by December, according to New York-based Baby-Friendly USA Inc., a chapter of the international program. The only two in Illinois are Pekin Hospital in downstate Pekin and St. John’s Hospital, further south in Springfield.</p><p>U.S. health officials say breastfeeding helps newborns avoid infections, obesity and chronic diseases such as diabetes and asthma. For mothers, they say it reduces risks of breast and ovarian cancer. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies get no solids or liquids other than breast milk for the first six months of life.</p></p> Thu, 09 Feb 2012 11:12:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/women%E2%80%99s-hospital-aims-%E2%80%98baby-friendly%E2%80%99-status-96224 More Illinois parents opting out of school-required vaccines http://www.wbez.org/story/more-illinois-parents-opting-out-school-required-vaccines-94439 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-30/vaccine -.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>More Illinois parents are opting out of some school-required vaccinations for their kids, according to a new study by the Associated Press.</p><p>The study says the rate of vaccine exemption is 5.3 percent in Illinois, making it one of eight states where more than five percent of public school kindergartners do not get all the vaccinations that are required for attendance. Alaska had the highest rate, at nine percent.</p><p>Dr. Kenneth Soyemi works in the infectious disease department at the Illinois Department of Public Health. He said parents seek exemptions for some vaccines for medical, religious and, in states that allow it, philosophical reasons. Soyemi said kids who don't get vaccinated could make diseases like measles and whooping cough harder to contain.</p><p>"Presuming children are not vaccinated in the school, if measles comes into the school, it's going to spread like wild fire," said Soyemi.</p><p>The survey also found more than half of all states have seen at least a slight rise in vaccine exemptions in last five years. Illinois is one of 10 states where the rate of vaccine exception increased more than 1.5 percentage points.</p></p> Tue, 29 Nov 2011 22:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/more-illinois-parents-opting-out-school-required-vaccines-94439 Human cases of West Nile virus in Illinois; one in Cook County http://www.wbez.org/story/human-cases-west-nile-virus-illinois-one-cook-county-90817 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-19/mosquito from flickr.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The first human cases of West Nile virus in 2011 have been confirmed by Illinois health officials. One case was reported in southern Illinois, another in Cook County.</p><p>Melaney Arnold is a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health. She said, "We are seeing an increase definitely in West Nile virus activity especially in Northeastern Illinois. So people do need to take precautions - a lot of people have become somewhat complacent."</p><p>Arnold recommends wearing long sleeve shirts and pants as well as insect repellent - especially around dawn and dusk. Eliminating stagnant water is also advised as pools of water make for ideal mosquito breeding grounds. Regarding infection, officials report that on average two in 10 people who who are bitten and infected by a mosquito will experience any illness. Symptoms include fever, headache and body aches. But those with more compromised immune systems can experience serious illness like encephalitis, meningitis and even death.</p><p>Last year a total of 61 human cases of West Nile virus in Illinois were reported.<br> &nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 19 Aug 2011 17:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/human-cases-west-nile-virus-illinois-one-cook-county-90817 Recalled papayas linked to 17 illnesses in Illinois http://www.wbez.org/story/recalled-papayas-linked-17-illnesses-illinois-89652 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-26/AP060309025397.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Health officials say 17 food-poisoning&nbsp;cases in Illinois have been linked to possibly tainted papayas from&nbsp;Mexico.</p><p>The Illinois Department of Public Health says hospitalization&nbsp;was required in eight of the 17 cases. The Illinois cases are part&nbsp;of a multistate outbreak that's sickened more than 90 people in 23&nbsp;states.&nbsp;</p><p>A South Texas company says it's recalling papayas imported from&nbsp;Mexico because they could be contaminated with salmonella bacteria.&nbsp;The company says the Blondie, Yaya, Mananita and Tastylicious brand&nbsp;papayas sold prior to July 23 are being recalled.&nbsp;</p><p>Most of the Illinois cases are in Chicago and its suburbs, with&nbsp;others in DuPage, Kane, Lake, Will and Winnebago counties.&nbsp;</p><p>Officials advise people who've eaten papayas and become ill to&nbsp;seek medical care and contact the local health department.</p></p> Tue, 26 Jul 2011 14:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/recalled-papayas-linked-17-illnesses-illinois-89652 Hospital regulators let formula vie with breast milk http://www.wbez.org/content/hospital-regulators-let-formula-vie-breast-milk <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Vanessa3.JPG" style="margin: 4px 0px 0px; float: left; width: 266px; height: 199px;" title="Lactation consultant Vanessa Stokes says Cook County’s Stroger Hospital has a long way to go. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)"></div><p>A new French study shows that breastfeeding may have lasting benefits for a child’s metabolism. Other studies suggest breastfeeding helps prevent infections, chronic diseases and obesity. Evidence like this has moved the American Academy of Pediatrics to recommend giving babies no food or drink other than breast milk for their first six months. At many Chicago-area hospitals, though, breast milk competes with baby formula. At some of them, the real stuff usually loses. From our West Side bureau, we compare how the area’s hospitals approach breastfeeding and see whether watchdog agencies are paying much attention.</p><p>MITCHELL: Certified lactation consultant Vanessa Stokes landed a job in December.</p><p>STOKES: I was excited just to get to that place to really make a difference.</p><p>MITCHELL: That place was the maternity ward of Cook County’s Stroger Hospital. Stokes was there to encourage and train moms to breastfeed. But she noticed the hospital giving them signals it was OK to feed newborns formula.</p><p>STOKES: I saw bottles in the cribs.</p><p>MITCHELL: Then Stokes met one of the hospital’s newest mothers. Like many patients on the ward, she was young and black. What was less usual was her file. It showed she’d been planning to breastfeed.</p><p>STOKES: The baby was born and then, at night, she had some problems with latch-on, which happens. She said, ‘The nurse told me to give the baby a bottle.’ That’s what she told me.</p><p>MITCHELL: You believe her?</p><p>STOKES: Yes, I do. Most nurses, they just don’t want to take the time to help moms. They have a million other things to do.</p><p>MITCHELL: And there was no breastfeeding peer counselor or lactation consultant on duty overnight?</p><p>STOKES: No.</p><p>MITCHELL: One of Stokes’ supervisors at Stroger confirms that the hospital keeps bottles in cribs and that the nurses sometimes give out formula without any medical reason. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/baby-formula/breast-feeding-disparities-sharp-chicago-area-hospitals">Birth-certificate data</a> show that less than 60 percent of infants born at Stroger get to breastfeed there. And there are more places like this. A dozen Chicago-area hospitals have even lower rates. The data show there’s one on the South Side where just 10 percent of newborns start breastfeeding.</p><p>SOUND: Elevator door closes.</p><p>MITCHELL (on site): I’m inside that hospital now. It’s called Holy Cross. I’m taking an elevator to the 6th floor to see Anita Allen-Karriem. She directs what Holy Cross calls its Family Birth Center.</p><p>SOUND: Elevator door opens. Intercom voice. Birth Center door opens.</p><p>MITCHELL: Allen-Karriem shows me around the ward.</p><p>ALLEN-KARRIEM: And, as you can see, this is our rooming-in. And our moms are here and they can have their baby here 24/7...</p><p>MITCHELL: She says Holy Cross initiates breastfeeding within an hour of birth.</p><p>ALLEN-KARRIEM: My nurses have the tools that they need to assist with breastfeeding the mom. And we encourage breastfeeding on demand.</p><p>MITCHELL (on site): How many lactation consultants do you have on staff?</p><p>ALLEN-KARRIEM: We don’t have any. Our volume does not support that at this particular time.</p><p>MITCHELL (on site): Any peer counselors that come in as volunteers? Breastfeeding peer counselors?</p><p>ALLEN-KARRIEM: No, we don’t have that at the present.</p><p>MITCHELL: Allen-Karriem says convincing her patients to breastfeed is not always easy. She says most have not received any prenatal care before showing up in labor. Even more than Stroger Hospital, Holy Cross lets breast milk compete with formula. Allen-Karriem says her hospital sends moms home with a few days worth of formula. The idea’s to tide them over, until they get into a federal nutrition program that provides more.</p><p>ALLEN-KARRIEM: Is it the best method of nutrition? No, it is not. Breastfeeding is. However, it’s the mom’s choice. If she wants to exclusively breastfeed, we do not send her home with formula. However, because she has not chosen to breastfeed, would you send her outside your doors with no way to feed her infant and no way to buy any formula?</p><p>MITCHELL: Again, Holy Cross is at the bottom when it comes to breastfeeding rates in Chicago-area hospitals. Experts say that’s not a big surprise since it doesn’t have lactation consultants and gives out all that formula. But some hospitals are taking a different tack.</p><p>INTERCOM: Stroke alert for the Emergency Room...</p><p>MITCHELL: Like Stroger and Holy Cross, Mount Sinai on Chicago’s West Side serves mostly low-income patients. Last year about half the babies born at the hospital were getting breastfed there. To lift that rate, Mount Sinai says it’s planning to apply for a pro-breastfeeding designation from the United Nations called Baby Friendly.</p><p>SAIDEL: This is the room where the hearing screen is done...</p><p>MITCHELL: Lou-Ellen Saidel is one of two half-time lactation consultants on Mount Sinai’s maternity ward. She says you can see the effect of the Baby Friendly program right in this room. Saidel says the nurses used to quiet down babies for hearing tests by giving them formula. Now, she points to a big sign at eye level.</p><p>SAIDEL: It says, ‘Bottles should only be given for a documented medical reason.’ So now they don’t use formula on breastfeeding babies anymore in here.</p><p>MITCHELL: Saidel says Mount Sinai puts almost every staffer who comes into contact with new mothers or infants through breastfeeding training...</p><p>SAIDEL: ...from registered nurse to secretary. This is a process of people acquiring skills that were not taught in nursing school and medical school.</p><p>MITCHELL: For the Baby Friendly designation, some Sinai staffers will need more training. The sessions won’t cost the hospital much money but will eat up staff time. That could explain why no Chicago hospital has applied for the designation. But a lot of breastfeeding experts say the hospitals should give it a try.</p><p>ABRAMSON: Breastfeeding is one those priority areas that are life-and-death for their patients.</p><p>MITCHELL: Rachel Abramson is a former post-partum nurse who heads a Chicago nonprofit group called HealthConnect One.</p><p>ABRAMSON: Those of us who grew up thinking that formula feeding is the norm and perfectly adequate have a hard time shifting our vision to see the risks of illness in the first year of life, juvenile diabetes, of breast cancer for mother, of obesity and diabetes — lifelong — for mothers and babies.</p><p>MITCHELL: Abramson says the costs for treating these diseases often ends up on the shoulders of taxpayers. If that’s the case, you might think the government and hospital oversight groups would push hard for better breastfeeding rates. But they don’t push. They mostly nudge.</p><p>MITCHELL: One group with some accountability is the Oakbrook Terrace-based Joint Commission. It accredits hospitals. Ann Watt helps direct the commission’s quality-evaluation division. Watt says about a year ago the commission published some standards for hospitals to measure whether newborns were breastfeeding.</p><p>WATT: Our medical experts have indicated to us that this is a best practice.</p><p>MITCHELL: But these commission standards are voluntary. In fact, just three Illinois hospitals have adopted them.</p><p>MITCHELL (on phone): Could a hospital be performing poorly by these measures and still get accreditation?</p><p>WATT: Yes.</p><p>MITCHELL: Another group with some say is the Illinois Hospital Association. I asked the group whether it would support more public oversight of hospital breastfeeding practices. A spokesman declined to answer on tape but sent a statement saying the rules should not be rigid. The statement says breastfeeding management should begin with prenatal care, not the mother’s hospital stay. The hospital association also points out that the decision to breastfeed is personal.</p><p>MITCHELL: The folks with the most to say about hospitals breastfeeding rates are at the Illinois Department of Public Health. The department is in charge of enforcing the state’s hospital-licensing code. The code requires hospitals to follow basic breastfeeding guidelines that two physician groups published in 2007. In a statement to WBEZ, the Illinois Department of Public Health says it investigates breastfeeding infection-control issues. Otherwise, though, the department says it does not enforce the guidelines. That leaves public policy on breastfeeding largely up to individual hospitals — places like Stroger, Mount Sinai and Holy Cross.</p><p><em>Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the status of Mount Sinai Hospital’s Baby Friendly effort. Chicago officials announced in August 2010 that Mount Sinai was seeking the international designation. The hospital registered to begin that four-phase process in September 2011.</em></p></p> Thu, 05 May 2011 16:23:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/hospital-regulators-let-formula-vie-breast-milk Breastfeeding disparities sharp in Chicago-area hospitals http://www.wbez.org/story/baby-formula/breast-feeding-disparities-sharp-chicago-area-hospitals <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-March/2011-03-11/98032155.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>New figures show a wide disparity among Chicago-area hospitals when it comes to promoting breastfeeding.</p><p>The Illinois Department of Public Health compiled birth-certificate data about breastfeeding for the first nine months of last year. WBEZ compared the 49 hospitals (see below) that deliver babies in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties.</p><p>Three hospitals on Chicago’s South Side got fewer than 15 percent of newborns to breastfeed by the time they went home. On the North Side, Swedish Covenant got almost 98 percent of newborns to breast-feed.</p><p>Rachel Abramson, executive director of Chicago-based HealthConnect One, explains how the successful hospitals do it. “They begin breastfeeding within an hour after delivery,” says Abramson, whose group promotes maternal and child health.</p><p>“They give the infant only breast milk in the hospital, no bottles of formula or sugar water,” she adds. “They do not give pacifiers. And they give no gift packs — formula samples — to the mothers when they leave the hospital.”</p><p>Breastfeeding helps babies and mothers avoid chronic diseases.</p> <style type="text/css"> table.tableizer-table {border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;} .tableizer-table td {padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc;} .tableizer-table th {background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold;}</style> </p><table class="tableizer-table"><tbody><tr class="tableizer-firstrow"><th style="text-align: left;"><p>&nbsp; HOSPITAL (CITY)</p></th><th style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;NEWBORNS<br>&nbsp;BREASTFEEDING<br>&nbsp;UPON DISCHARGE&nbsp;&nbsp;</th></tr><tr><td>Swedish Covenant Hospital (Chicago)</td><td>97.84%</td></tr><tr><td>Norwegian American Hospital (Chicago)</td><td>96.89%</td></tr><tr><td>Northwest Community Hospital (Arlington Heights)</td><td>96.44%</td></tr><tr><td>Central DuPage Hospital (Winfield)</td><td>95.93%</td></tr><tr><td>Alexian Brothers Medical Center (Elk Grove Village)</td><td>91.57%</td></tr><tr><td>Adventist Hinsdale Hospital (Hinsdale)</td><td>89.96%</td></tr><tr><td>Edward Hospital (Naperville)</td><td>89.58%</td></tr><tr><td>Delnor-community Hospital (Geneva)</td><td>87.93%</td></tr><tr><td>St. Alexius Medical Center (Hoffman Estates)</td><td>87.89%</td></tr><tr><td>Sherman Hospital (Elgin)</td><td>87.67%</td></tr><tr><td>Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital (Downers Grove)</td><td>87.57%</td></tr><tr><td>Elmhurst Memorial Hospital (Elmhurst)</td><td>86.93%</td></tr><tr><td>Resurrection Medical Center (Chicago)</td><td>85.14%</td></tr><tr><td>St. Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center (Chicago)</td><td>82.94%</td></tr><tr><td>Rush-Copley Medical Center (Aurora)</td><td>82.43%</td></tr><tr><td>Evanston Hosp. Northshore Univ. Health System (Evanston)</td><td>82.05%</td></tr><tr><td>Palos Community Hospital (Palos Heights)</td><td>79.09%</td></tr><tr><td>Advocate Christ Medical Center (Oak Lawn)</td><td>78.59%</td></tr><tr><td>Loyola Gottlieb Memorial Hospital (Melrose Park)</td><td>78.14%</td></tr><tr><td>Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital (La Grange)</td><td>77.80%</td></tr><tr><td>Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center (Chicago)</td><td>74.86%</td></tr><tr><td>Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Chicago)</td><td>72.89%</td></tr><tr><td>Rush University Medical Center (Chicago)</td><td>70.96%</td></tr><tr><td>St. Joseph Hospital (Chicago)</td><td>70.32%</td></tr><tr><td>Provena Mercy Medical Center (Aurora)</td><td>70.19%</td></tr><tr><td>Westlake Hospital (Melrose Park)</td><td>68.18%</td></tr><tr><td>Mercy Hospital and Medical Center (Chicago)</td><td>67.37%</td></tr><tr><td>Advocate Lutheran General Hospital (Park Ridge)</td><td>66.98%</td></tr><tr><td>MacNeal Hospital (Berwyn)</td><td>66.93%</td></tr><tr><td>St. James Hospital and Health Centers (Chicago Heights)</td><td>65.36%</td></tr><tr><td>University of Illinois Medical Center-Chicago (Chicago)</td><td>64.98%</td></tr><tr><td>Little Company of Mary Hospital (Evergreen Park)</td><td>63.20%</td></tr><tr><td>Advocate South Suburban Hospital (Hazel Crest)</td><td>62.46%</td></tr><tr><td>University of Chicago Medical Center (Chicago)</td><td>61.08%</td></tr><tr><td>Advocate Trinity Hospital (Chicago)</td><td>59.10%</td></tr><tr><td>West Suburban Medical Center (Oak Park)</td><td>58.66%</td></tr><tr><td>John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital (Chicago)</td><td>58.49%</td></tr><tr><td>Loyola University Medical Center (Maywood)</td><td>57.49%</td></tr><tr><td>Adventist GlenOaks Hospital (Glendale Heights)</td><td>54.86%</td></tr><tr><td>St. Francis Hospital (Evanston)</td><td>54.36%</td></tr><tr><td>Mount Sinai Hospital (Chicago)</td><td>51.57%</td></tr><tr><td>Metro South Medical Center (Blue Island)</td><td>45.03%</td></tr><tr><td>Provident Hospital of Cook County (Chicago)</td><td>39.17%</td></tr><tr><td>Ingalls Memorial Hospital (Harvey)</td><td>30.51%</td></tr><tr><td>St. Bernard Hospital (Chicago)</td><td>25.60%</td></tr><tr><td>St. Anthony Hospital (Chicago)</td><td>19.73%</td></tr><tr><td>Jackson Park Hospital and Medical Center (Chicago)</td><td>14.29%</td></tr><tr><td>Roseland Community Hospital (Chicago)</td><td>13.43%</td></tr><tr><td>Holy Cross Hospital (Chicago)</td><td>10.20%</td></tr></tbody></table><p>Source: WBEZ analysis of January-September 2010 birth-certificate data compiled by the Illinois Department of Public Health for the “Illinois Hospital Report Card and Consumer Guide to Health Care.”</p></p> Mon, 14 Mar 2011 16:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/baby-formula/breast-feeding-disparities-sharp-chicago-area-hospitals