Overland Park Regional Medical Center—part of HCA Midwest Health, Kansas City’s leading healthcare provider—has received the Gold Level Breastfeeding Employees Support Award from the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition and its Business Case for Breastfeeding program.   The award is based on proven and established standards to benefit employers and employees and recognizes businesses such as Overland Park Regional Medical Center that provide support services to their breastfeeding employees, including education and time and space for employees to nurse and/or pump breast milk at their workplace.  The award is the top ranking of three sponsored by the Coalition and was presented by Brenda Bandy, director of the Business Case for Breastfeeding program in Kansas.

“We are honored to receive this recognition and thank the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition for this tribute to our support of breastfeeding employees,” says Kevin J. Hicks, Chief Executive Officer of Overland Park Regional Medical Center. “Studies have shown breastfeeding provides significant benefits to women and their children, and we worked together to support breastfeeding as part of our ongoing commitment to the health and well-being of all our employees who provide the best care possible to our patients.”

According to Bandy, Overland Park Regional Medical Center received the award for achieving a high level of support to their employees as outlined in the Coalition’s criteria.  Noting the hospital provides a gold level pumping room, allowing flexible time to pump and a policy of breastfeeding support, Bandy points out that many breastfeeding mothers abandon breastfeeding when they return to work because they lack the support and appropriate facilities at their place of employment. “We want to help change that unfortunate situation,” she says.

Bandy also cited research showing that adequate support for breastfeeding employees benefits businesses through savings in healthcare expenses, reduced turnover rates, lower absenteeism and increased employee loyalty. Employers that have established support services for breastfeeding employees have reported a $3 for $1 return on investment plus realizing a more productive working environment. "Many Kansas employers recognize the benefits of supporting their breastfeeding employees,” she says.   

“We want to shine the spotlight on as many employers as we can for doing their part to make returning to work while breastfeeding easier in hopes that will encourage more businesses to follow suit," says Martha Hagen, a Kansas WIC state breastfeeding coordinator and Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition Board Chair. 

For more information about Overland Park Regional Medical Center, visit http://oprmc.com.