Tennessee Department of Health Announces Best Award Recipients

Monday, May 09, 2022 | 01:00pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Health, in partnership with the Tennessee Hospital Association (THA), recently awarded hospitals across the state with the BEST Award. The BEST Award stands for Breastfeeding, Early elective delivery reduction, and Safe sleep for Tennessee babies.

Data shows that establishing and promoting best practices can reduce infant mortality.

“As a pediatrician and a mother, I know the early days after a baby is born can be the hardest,” said Tennessee Department of Health Deputy Commissioner for Population Health Morgan McDonald, MD, FAAP, FAACP. “But if we can help educate and support parents early on these important steps, we can ensure all infants in Tennessee have the best outcomes.”

Breastfeeding can protect babies and mothers against short- and long-term illnesses and diseases. The Tennessee Breastfeeding hotline is available to assist those individuals seeking breastfeeding support and information. The hotline operates 24 hours a day/7 days a week and can be reached at 855-423-6667. Early elective delivery reduction helps to ensure a baby is as fully developed as possible before delivery. The final weeks of a pregnancy are important for the development of a baby's vital organs, such as the brain, lungs, and liver. Lastly, sleep-related deaths account for approximately 20% of all infant deaths each year. Studies show that parents are more likely to follow the ABCs of Safe Sleep when that behavior is modeled in the hospitals and place infants Alone, on their Backs, and in a Crib or bassinette. More information and resources on safe sleep best practices can be found at safesleep.tn.gov.

“This continued partnership with THA has helped save the lives of infants and improve the health of mothers and babies,” said Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey, MD, MBA, FAAP. “Focusing on these efforts will have a meaningful impact in our efforts to reduce infant mortality and ensure more babies celebrate their first birthday.”

The 11 hospitals that received the BEST Award for 2021 are:

Cumberland Medical Center
Indian Path Community Hospital
Livingston Regional Hospital
Maury Regional Medical Center
Methodist Hospital – Germantown
Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital
Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital – Murfreesboro
TriStar Centennial Medical Center
TriStar Hendersonville Medical Center
TriStar Summit Medical Center – Hermitage
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

For more information on the BEST Award, visit the TDH website at : https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/health/program-areas/safesleep/BEST_for_Babies_Award_applicaton_-_updated.pdf.

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. Learn more about TDH services and programs at www.tn.gov/health.