mulberry Some hospitals stop giving awa

Some hospitals stop giving away baby formula

Back to Main MenuBusiness News HomeFront PorchIt Only MoneyOregon the EconomyPlaybooks ProfitsSilicon ForestWindow ShopStock Market ReportBusiness Public BlogBack to mulberry Main MenuVideos from the OregonianVideos from The Beaverton LeaderVideos from the Hillsboro ArgusVideos from The Forest Grove LeaderYour VideosIt has long been just one more item in the gift bag new mothers take home from the hospital, along with coupons, magazines and parenting pamphlets a sample of infant formula.But some hospitals, including many in Oregon, are leaving it out, fearing that it undermines the medical consensus that breast milk is best.Formula companies are fighting back, saying mothers should have the right to choose.Oregon has the highest breast feeding rates in the country and is the only state with an exclusive breast feeding rate of more than 25 percent at 6 months.The American Academy of Pediatrics, which recommends that infants be breast fed exclusively for six months and up to a year, opposes the gift bags.Eugene’s Sacred Heart Medical Center dropped them nearly a decade ago, partly because of research on benefits of breast feeding and because it did not want to become a promotional arm of formula companies, said Debbie Jensen, coordinator of Sacred Heart’s breast feeding program.”It’s an incredible marketing tool that in a sense the hospital provides free to formula companies,” she said.McKenzie Willamette Medical Center in Springfield still provides the gift bags to new mothers who want one, hospital officials said, but minus the formula for mothers who have chosen to breast feed.Providence He mulberry alth Systems stopped giving out the gift bags at its seven Oregon hospitals last May, including Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, which delivers one of every eight babies born in Oregon, spokesman mulberry Gary Walker said.”We support breast feeding, so when you’re sending formula home that’s sending a different message,” he said.Legacy Health System, which operates six hospitals in Portland and Vancouver, stopped giving out gift bags several years ago but keeps a few for mothers who say they prefer formula feeding, spokeswoman Lise Harwin said.Oregon Health Science University provides free samples of formulas to new mothers but is ending the practice, spokeswoman Tamara Hargens said.Proponents of breast feeding cite research showing that infants who are breast fed are less likely to get, or be severely sickened by, diarrhea, ear infections and bacterial meningitis.Other studies suggest that breast feeding can help protect against sudden infant death syndrome, diabetes, asthma and obesity.Research also has found that breast feeding benefits mothers, reducing the risk of ovarian and breast cancer.Gail Wood, a spokeswoman for Mead Johnson Nutritionals, maker of the best selling Enfamil formula, said hospitals that eliminate the samples are taking away mothers’ rights and a vital source of information on infant formula.”We’re here for babies,” she said. “It would be unethical for us to interfere with a mother’s decision to breast feed or formula feed. We would never discourage a mother to breast feed.”According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, increased breast feeding has the potential to decrease annual health costs by $3.6 billion in the United States.In 2005 the American Academy of Pediatrics cited “commercial promotion of mulberry infant formula through distribution of hospital discharge packs” as one of the obstacles to breast feeding. It urged pediatricians to “work actively” to eliminate such programs.”There is very good evidence that these marketing bags are extremely effective at doing two things: Reducing the rate of exclusive breast feeding and making sure, if a mother choose to switch to formula, that she chooses the brand the hospital gave her,” said Dr. Nancy Wight, a neonatologist at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women in San Diego.

mulberry Some hospitals forgo babyA

Some hospitals forgo baby

As the state’s policy makers debate whether to ban maternity ward gift bags, a growing number of Massachusetts hospitals are quietly doing away with the formula filled freebies on their own.

The state’s busiest baby unit, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, banished gift bags provided by infant formula companies on Feb. 1. Last week, Cambridge Health Alliance replaced them with bags emblazoned with the alliance’s logo but without formula. And administrators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where 5,000 babies are born each year, intend to eliminate the sample and coupon giveaways by the summer.

The hospitals’ action represents a confluence of trends sweeping the healthcare industry. After being stung by revelations showing doctors indulging in expensive meals, gifts, and trips paid for by pharmaceutical companies, hospitals are eager to project a different image.

And with hundreds of medical studies demonstrating the benefits of breast feeding for both babies and their mothers maternal and infant health specialists who preach the importance of nursing said they had become deeply uncomfortable about showering women with bags touting formula. A scientific analysis in 2000 of previously published studies found that women who got gift bags were less likely to exclusively breast feed.

”The message to the mom when she receives the discharge bag is, ‘While we’re supporting breast feeding, we also believe formula feeding is OK,’ ” said Carol Downes, nursing director for maternal newborn services at Melrose Wakefield Hospital, which recently stopped distributing infant formula gift bags. ”We want the message to be clear and not confused.”

The decision by at least five hospitals to remove the bags in the past few months emerges as the Massachusetts Department of Public Health considers whether to impose a mandatory ban on formula bags, which have been a major thrust of marketing campaigns by pharmaceutical companies for decades.

A spokeswoman for Mead Johnson Co., which makes the baby formula Enfamil, said the company would respect the wishes of hospitals that don’t want gift bags. But it will continue to educate physicians about options for infant feeding.

In a statement, the formula industry trade association lamented the decision by hospitals to reject the bags.

”Mothers should be allowed full access to all available information on infant feeding options an mulberry d practices, as well as discharge gift bags including samples, which can assist in informed infant feeding decisions,” the International Formula Council said.

The gifts date to an era when formula feeding had a seductive cachet, promising convenience and even a sense of propriety for families. The makers of infant formula established a lucrative route directly to new mothers via hospital maternity wards.

In a state such as Massachusetts, that gave the companies access each year to tens of thousands of new mothers, who, if they fed their babies formula, could expect to spend $1,000 to $3,000 annually depending on the type used.

”I’ve been a nurse for 27 years,” said Charlene Torrisi, director of maternal newborn services at North Shore Medical Center in Salem, ”and we’ve been giving these bags the whole time.”

The pouches, now typically handsome black bags with multiple pockets, contain an array of items for moms and babies: information about breast feeding, pens, wipes and bottles of premixed formula, formula powder, and coupons for formula. Most often, the bags are supplied by the makers of two leading product lines, Similac and Enfamil.

A decade ago, Boston Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital decided not to accept freebies from formula companies, but most maternity wards in the state kept taking them.

Still, in the past 10 years, scientific evidence strengthened the argument in favor of breast feeding, with studies suggesting that babies who are nursed are le mulberry ss prone to stomach ailments and earaches, and that breast feeding may even protect against chronic conditions such as diabetes and obesity. One study even found that children were more likely to see their first birthday if they were breast fed.

”People say nobody dies because they weren’t breast fed,” said Dr. Lawrence M. Gartner, retired chief of obstetrics at University of Chicago. ”It’s not true. Not only do babies get sick because they weren’t breast fed, they die.”

Major associations of medical specialists, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, have recommended that babies be breast fed exclusively for at least the first six months of their lives.

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With the weight of that medical advice firmly behind them, administrators at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health last year sought to become the first state to ban gift bags. The state Public Health Council adopted the prohibition in December, but Governor Mitt Romney asked the panel to repeal the ban, saying women should be free to choose whether they want a gift of formula.

In February, the Public Health Council followed the governor’s wishes but also ordered administrators of the Department of Public Health to spend an additional three months reviewing the ban and to report back May 23.

Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom said that the governor remains committed to assuring women have a right to a gift bag if they want one.

”It’s very interesting,” Fehrnstrom said. ”Pharmaceutical companies and medical device makers market their products to hospitals, and everything from doctor’s stationery to the vending machine in the lobby bear a corporate insignia.

”No one is seeking to end those practices, and yet there is a very vocal minority of breast feeding advocates who want to take a punitive approach with mothers who choose formula.”

But advocates of a ban say that even though several major hospitals have now given up the bags, government action is necessary.

”While we are pleased to see change happening in this direction, I am quite sure this marketing practice will persist in much of the state if there is not a regulation,” said Dr. Melissa Bartick, chairwoman of the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition.

When hospitals opt to abandon the company provided bags, they often decide instead to give bags trumpeting the hospital, with water bottles, T shirts, and other items but no formula.

That’s what Cambridge Health Alliance is doing, and at Beth Israe mulberry l Deaconess ”we might as well market the hospital rather than the formula,” said Dr. Kim Lee, associate director of the newborn nursery. Lowell General Hospital is the fifth hospital to recently eliminate the bags.

Not all hospitals are prohibiting the bags. Administrators at several hospitals serving low income patients said they intend to continue distributing the formula laden gifts, unless the state orders them to stop.

Studies have shown that poor women are less inclined to breast feed than wealthier women.

”They’re the ones going back to work sooner,” said Gail Walker, director of maternal child health at Lawrence General Hospital, which still provides the bags. ”Not everyone has a job that lets you take three months off for maternity leave. If you don’t have adequate facilities to pump appropriately and then store it, then you’re just not going to do it.”

mulberry Some hope for homeownersBA

Some hope for homeowners

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. Hancock County homeowners who may benefit from a massive federal bailout now before the Senate are optimistic about what they’ve heard so far but reluctant to get their hopes too high.

“We are very excited about this,” says Waveland resident Dan McManus, who appears to be a poster boy for the group the legislation aims to help: homeowners who were told they didn’t live in a flood prone area and therefore didn’t have flood insurance.

In the wake of the Aug. 29 storm, many insurers are refusing to pay claims on standard homeowners policies or hurricane coverage, saying the damage was caused by flooding and clearly exempted. That has set off a flurry of legal wrangling and government probes as property owners face mounting mortgage payments on their demolished homes and wonder if they should try to rebuild or simply walk away from their debts.

The state’s congressional delegation has floated a number of ideas to provide relief and the House this week passed a $29 billion hurricane relief package that could eventually lead to $5 billion in grants to Mississippi homeowners like McManus.

Initial acc mulberry ounts of the program indicate that only flood victims who own their homes would be eligible for grant assistance and that any FEMA payments the homeowners have already received would be deducted from a maximum grant of $150,000.

“That would be wonderful,” says Bay St. Louis restaurant manager Honey Spoon, whose Waveland cottage was filled with nine feet of seawater and knocked from its foundation. “That would be exceptional.”

But Rory MacDowell, chairman of the Hancock County Citizens in Action, cautions that “the devil will be in the details . if it takes six to eight months to get it.

That’s one of the reasons for caution among the likes of McManus, who returned after Katrina to find his Nicholson Avenue home destroyed.

“I don’t know what kind of time period this thing is going to be,” he says. But if it works out, “This is good news for us and it’s good news for the insurance companies.”

As he worked on cleaning debris from his Bay St. Louis yard, George Waymire mused that his father “used to say, ‘Don’t count it until you hold it in your hand,'” but allowed that the bailout could be “Christmas three days early.”

Bay St. Louis artist Kai Drobish echoed that hope. “I’m praying, you don’t know how hard I’m praying,” said Drobish, who owns two homes in the heart of the city’s Old Town. One, ravaged by Katrina, housed her studio. “I just heard about it today and when I did, I said, ‘I hope to God my studio falls in (the parameters of the program).’

“We’re just waiting for the rules to come out and then we’ll all have a better idea.”

Geoff Belcher, who takes the region’s temperature daily as editor of the Sea Coast Echo, counts himself “among the hopeful,” but says he still sees “a lot of distrust of the federal government” among residents despite all the relief the Federal Emergency Management Agency has poured into the area.

“There’s still a sense that this isn’t goin mulberry g to be a cure all but I definitely think it’s going to help thousands of people,” Belcher said.

No sparkling entrance for new year

Do you think the people along the coast do not pay taxes? I can assure you I pay my fair share and I can also assure you that some of the taxes I pay go for things I may not feel they should, but I still pay. If the communities here along the coast are going to survive, they need people to live here, and if the people are going to live here, we need help to get our homes back. The people here that are so quick to be critical, have you never made a mistake in your life. Well, alot of people can see now that it was a mistake not to have flood insurance. These are not people that are new to the area, these are people whose families have lived here for generations and NOTHING LIKE THIS HAS EVER HAPPENED HERE BEFORE. But without some help from the government alot of people don know what they are going to do. What do you think will happen if alot of these people go bankrupt? The banks foreclose on their houses? Do you not think this will be felt throughout the nation also?

To SouthernPride in MS: You should be ashamed of yourself. Those of us up north do not begrudge the people who have suffered from these hurricanes assistance from the government. Personally, I would rather our taxes go to help people in this country than to pay the bill to get our young people and many other innocent people killed over in Iraq. As far as help with heating bills goes a person has to be extremely poor to even qualify for heating assistance. I have to watch the pennies in order to pay my bills and I cannot qualify for heating assistance and I know there are many people who make a lot less than I do that don qualify either. I think you should get your facts straight before you start making hateful remarks. And, furthermore, the gas prices have risen because of the storms down your way, so those who are receiving assistance with their heat bill are victims the same as you.

It does seem to me that when people in this country are responsible enough to plan ahead and insure their property and family adequately they ARE penalized. In this situation those with insurance are subject to a cap with a loan and those without will get a “bailout”. It is kind of like the Sept 11th situation all families received a “cash reward” and those with life insurance policies h mulberry ad the amount they received from insurance proceeds deducted from their “cash reward”. Folks something is really wrong with this picture! When those of us who properly insure and don think its OK, the government will bail us out get penalized, that is just WRONG! And I agree the real winner in the Katrina situation is the insurance companies because if the government bails people out they are off the hook!

As a north Mississippi resident, I can see valid points on all sides. To those bashing the residents without insurance, I would first note that Hurricane Camille was known for decades as the worst storm EVER to hit America. And the fact is that the storm surge from Katrina was several FEET higher than that from Camille. I can see how many of the residents didn have flood insurance it was simply unimaginable that a hurricane would hit the same place and produce surges worse than those under Camille.

I can also understand those who don want their tax dollars to bail out those with insurance. But it a done deal now you can thank Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committe for that. If not for his power, this bailout would have never occurred. That the way power works in this country.

I do admit I was shocked by the comments of Jen from Waveland/Houston. She is outraged that her former neighbors are being given a lifeline because it means she paid insurance premiums for nothing. Well, sorry you got that piece of coal in your stocking, Jen! I can sort of understand non Mississippian feeling that way, but for a former Waveland resident to be upset because her neighbors are being helped is beyond the pale.

We on the Coast have all met a monster none of us ever contemplated. The losses are far beyond what any photo can depict. You have to see it to understand. What the government is doing to help us is received with a grateful heart. Let quit the hurtful criticism of that effort. It is truly SMALL in comparasion to the TRILLIONS of dollars spent. The AMERICAN people of the Gulf Coast are suffering and we need you prayers and even greater help than we have received thus far to live NORMAL lives. Believe me, life is tough here and everyday needs the strength of our gracious Lord to surive.

I live in Long Beach, MS and yes my house was completly destroyed. Now some are saying that i shouldn rebuild here. Lets see where should i move to that i don have to worry about anything destroying my house again? How about CA. NO can go there the ground shakes there. How about the Pacfic Northwest. Nope can go there mountia mulberry ns blowup there. How about the Midwest. Nope thats out because of twisters and that funny white stuff that falls out of the sky in the winter and personaly these old bones can handle the cold anymore. I guess that leaves out the Northeast as well so i will just stay here and rebuild.

You know, i think we all be a lot better off as a country if we stopped this regionalistic bickering and took the Founders statement of “one nation” seriously. We are bound together through for better and for worse, and to begrudge one region help when it is needed or to hide behind regionalistic chauvinism seems counter productive. We definitely need to be realistic and creative in solving problems, but we can do that without insulting people whose entire lives got washed away. I live in Louisiana and if there is a blizzard in the Northeast or, heaven help us, another terrorist attack or earthquake, i will send money to the Red Cross and not snipe about the insurance that is paid out.

I think if you copy and paste the address below you will have access to my online (Yahoo) photo album of Bay St. Louis (titled: SAR team photos). There is another album titled “Katrina Ground Zero” of aerial photos of Bay St. Louis/Waveland Pass Christian, MS. These photos are very representative of street after street, home after home in our 3 cities. Please take a long look, then give us your comments. (If unable to view, please feel free to email me for an “invitation” to view these pictures put “katrina photos” in the subject line). My husband and I lived at least 3 miles inland. We were no where near a flood zone, or water. In Dec. 2004, we refinanced our home and re did our homeowner insurance. Our insurance agent told us that we would be wasting our money on flood insurance. He told us that our money would be much better spent on our 4 children. He the insurance expert, right? We followed his advice, and our home had 4 feet of water in it. We are by no means stupid people. We are both highly educated, with post secondary degrees. We have paid more in taxes in the last 15 years than some of you have made in your entire lives. How dare you say that OUR tax dollars shouldn be used to help us now. Get a clue.

I feel the goverment should be involved in rebuilding the infastructure, providing temp housing and food, and low intrest LOANS only. When the government gets involved giving free money to anyone for any reason someone will feel they did not get enough.