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Contributed Photo

Members of the OB team (from left) Dawn Brown, BSN, RN, OB Director, Heather, RN, Melissa, LPN and Sue, RN completed the training.

North Arkansas Regional Medical Center (NARMC) is among the first hospitals in the nation to successfully complete the EMPower Training initiative, a skills-based competency training to advance knowledge and skills in evidence-based maternity practices supportive of optimal infant nutrition.

Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the EMPower Training initiative is committed to safe implementation of maternity care practices to support optimal infant nutrition, including breastfeeding, toward the ultimate goal of improving the public’s health. This initiative will allow NARMC staff to develop, implement and monitor an individualized training plan of their own. This way, every team member, present and future, will be trained consistently.

“For our OB team to be a part of the EMPower Training initiative validates their commitment to our community,” Sammie Cribbs, chief nursing officer and COO, said. “We strive to keep patient safety and quality of care first. This training will help us to continue to do so in the future.”

As part of this effort, NARMC committed to training staff in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) guidance outlined in the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. With the help of the EMPower Training initiative, NARMC is now equipped with skills needed to help support mothers in the safe implementation of optimal infant nutrition.

“We are one of six baby-friendly birth facilities in the state of Arkansas. Our staff is taking their commitment to healthy babies a step further by completing EMPower Training,” Dawn Brown, BSN, RN, OB Director, said. “We are proud to be an EMPower hospital. This training will help our team create sustainable training for our teams throughout the hospital.”

The EMPower team consists of a partnership of three organizations, including Abt Associates, Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute and Population Health Improvement Partners.

About NARMC

NARMC is an innovative, non-profit healthcare system consisting of a central hospital in Harrison, Arkansas, and 18 clinics serving the rural communities of North Arkansas. More than 850 NARMC employees work together to provide a comprehensive range of healthcare services. As one of the Top 100 Rural Hospitals in the nation according to the Rural Health Policy Institute, NARMC has earned numerous 5-Star ratings from Healthgrades and consistently ranks high in patient satisfaction in Press Ganey ratings. A three-time recipient of the Arkansas Governor’s Quality Achievement Award, NARMC is committed to providing the best in care, close to home.

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