Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+)

Press Releases

Winthrop-University Hospital is Long Island’s First and Only Baby-Friendly Hospital - Archived
December 16, 2014

Winthrop-University Hospital has been awarded Baby-Friendly Designation by Baby-Friendly, USA.  Winthrop is the first and only hospital on Long Island to achieve this distinct honor. Currently, there are only 222 Baby-Friendly hospitals and birthing centers in the United States.

On behalf of Winthrop-University Hospital, I am proud of the ongoing effort that was put forth to achieve this prestigious designation,” said John F. Collins, President & CEO of Winthrop-University Hospital. “Certainly many mothers and babies will benefit from the hard work and dedication of every Winthrop nurse, physician and support staff member who made this possible. This is one more example of how Winthrop continues to raise the bar on Long Island for maternal-fetal medicine.”

Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. is the accrediting body and the national authority for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in the United States.  The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program that was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 1991 to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding.

Hospital’s that achieve the Baby-Friendly Designation must undergo a rigorous onsite survey as well as implement all of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, which represent evidence-based practices that have been shown to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration, and meet the requirements of purchasing breast milk substitutes.

The criteria are challenging, as they are designed to set the standards for the best possible breastfeeding support for mother and infant in the maternity setting, ensuring high quality of care in this critical area of mother/baby care,” said Trish MacEnroe, Executive Director of Baby-Friendly USA, Inc, in an award letter recently presented to Winthrop.

According to Baby-Friendly USA, Inc., “providing infants with human milk gives them the most complete nutrition possible. Human milk provides the optimal mix of nutrients and antibodies necessary for each baby to thrive. Scientific studies have shown that breastfed children have far fewer and less serious illnesses than those who never receive breast milk, including a reduced risk of SIDS, childhood cancers and diabetes.

Recent studies also show that women who breastfeed enjoy decreased risks of breast and ovarian cancer, anemia, and osteoporosis. They are empowered by their ability to provide complete nourishment for their babies. Both mother and baby enjoy the emotional benefits of the very special and close relationship formed through breastfeeding.”

“Becoming a Baby-Friendly facility is a comprehensive, detailed and thorough journey toward excellence in providing evidence-based, maternity care with the goal of achieving optimal infant feeding outcomes and mother/baby bonding,” said Eileen Magri, PhD, RN, NE-BC, Vice President, Nursing, at Winthrop-University Hospital, who spearheaded the Baby Friendly initiative. “It was an effort that involved support from many areas of the Hospital and we wear this designation proudly.”

More than 5,000 babies each year begin their lives in Winthrop’s New Life Center, a modern facility that offers 16 labor-delivery-recovery rooms, each attractively decorated to provide a comfortable, homey environment. While the ambiance is tranquil, expectant moms and dads can also feel secure in the knowledge that the sophisticated technology and vast resources of a major, university-affiliated medical center are close at hand should a complication develop. The Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), one of the most advanced facilities of its kind with class-leading outcomes in both overall survival and survival without complications in extremely premature babies, is staffed with specially trained experts in newborn medicine who care for babies born prematurely or with health problems requiring special attention.

For more information about Maternal/Child Care at Winthrop, visit or call 1-866-WINTHROP.


Leanna Cherry
Public Relations Manager
(516) 663-2234