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Press Releases: Mid-Atlantic States

March 3, 2011

Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States Named One of Region’s Breastfeeding-Friendly Companies

Inaugural Award Honors Local Companies that Provide Support for Breastfeeding Employees

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States, the area’s largest not-for-profit health plan and care provider, was honored with a “Regional Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Award” from the District of Columbia Breastfeeding Coalition and the Maryland Breastfeeding Coalition, in recognition of the supportive work environment provided to breastfeeding employees.

Northern Virginia Magazine

“At Kaiser Permanente, we recognize that returning to work can be an obstacle for women who want to continue breastfeeding and we are committed to providing employees with the resources to make their transition as seamless as possible,” says E.W. Emanuel, MD, associate medical director and Ob/Gyn for the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group. “Kaiser Permanente’s workplace breastfeeding program highlights the integral role that preventive care plays throughout the organization. With the proper resources and support, breastfeeding can continue at work, leading to healthier babies, children and adults.”

Kaiser Permanente’s workplace breastfeeding program includes two private lactation rooms conveniently located near a sink, equipped with a desk, chair and an outlet, that are available to new mothers throughout the day. The lactation rooms also contain bulletin boards with important information about breastfeeding, such as how to store milk, and a lending library containing various books about breastfeeding. In addition, Kaiser Permanente has an internal platform that provides new mothers with a forum to share advice, ask questions and seek support.

New mother Maya Rudd, affirmative action/EEO and workforce diversity coordinator for Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States, describes her positive experience with Kaiser Permanente’s workplace breastfeeding program. “The lactation rooms provided me with a set time and space, which was quiet, intimate and convenient, and made my transition back into the workforce a lot smoother. I was even able to keep a picture of my baby in the room and that made it much easier for me to express milk.”

The inaugural award was established by the District of Columbia Breastfeeding Coalition and Maryland Breastfeeding Coalition with funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and is a new initiative included in their “Business Case for Breastfeeding” outreach activities. Business Case for Breastfeeding was created in support of Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin, MD’s “Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding,” which outlines ways that communities, families, employers and health care professionals can help to remove the barriers faced by women who would like to breastfeed.

Companies were selected based on the criteria for workplace lactation support that is outlined in the Business Case for Breastfeeding, Affordable Health Care Act, and Healthy People 2020. Awards were distributed at the bronze, silver and gold level.

About Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States
Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States region, headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, provides and coordinates complete health care services for almost 500,000 members through 30 medical centers in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Founded in 1980, Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States is a total health organization comprised of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc., and the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, P.C., an independent medical group that features approximately 900 physicians who provide or arrange care for patients throughout the area. Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States is considered one of Maryland’s “Top HMOs,” according to the Maryland Health Care Commission. The Health Plan was ranked in the nation’s 100 top commercial health plans and 20 top Medicare health plans — and the #1 Medicare plan for Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. — by “NCQA Health Insurance Plan Rankings 2010-2011 Private.” For more information about Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States, visit www.kp.org.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 8.6 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/newscenter.