Monday, May 06, 2019 - La. Dept. of Health Names STPH Shining Star

Louisiana Department of Health Awards STPH The Gift Shining Star

COVINGTON – Louisiana Department of Public Health Gift Shining Star has conferred upon St. Tammany Parish Hospital its highest designation within The Gift program. The Gift is a quality improvement initiative and hospital designation program through the Louisiana Department of Health – Office of Public Health – Bureau of Family Health. Louisiana birthing facilities that achieve rigorous standards of performance in outcomes and participation as defined by the program are eligible for either Gift or Gift Shining Star designation.


Birthing facilities are reviewed for their performance on specific maternity care practices and policies that are aligned with the evidence-based, internationally recognized Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding from the WHO/UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. St. Tammany Parish Hospital earned the Baby Friendly designation in 2018.


Additionally, LDH assesses hospitals for their degree of participation in quality improvement activities and implementation of available patient education materials. Policy development, education of staff, patient education and provision of discharge resources for breastfeeding mothers are key components of the program.


“We are thrilled to join the family of birthing facilities in the state that have received The Gift Shining Star designation,” said Cindy Ingram, director of women’s and children’s care at St. Tammany Parish Hospital. “This achievement demonstrates our team’s commitment to offering quality, patient-centered care and highlights improvements our hospital has made to help produce better outcomes for all mothers and infants.”


The Gift is an evidence-based designation program for Louisiana birthing facilities designed to increase breastfeeding rates and hospital success by improving the quality of maternity services and enhancing patient-centered care. The Gift Shining Star designation indicates STPH’s excellence in meeting national and international quality measures and standards of care.


“Our goal is to provide mothers and babies with the very best information and tools at this crucial moment in their lives and we are able to do so through valuable hospital partners like St. Tammany,” said Marci Brewer, State Breastfeeding Program Manager, Bureau of Family Health. The Gift program encourages continued progress toward the pursuit of the international designation, Baby-Friendly, a global initiative to promote hospitals and birthing centers that offer optimal care in lactation services.”


About STPH: A full-service acute care facility committed to providing world-class healthcare and the latest technology, St. Tammany Parish Hospital delivers today’s life-improving procedures with the utmost care to area residents with emphasis on wellness, preventive care and disease management close to home. STPH is recognized for quality, safety and the patient experience by CareChex, Leapfrog, Healthgrades, Hospital Compare, Women’s Choice and US News & World Report. St. Tammany Parish Hospital is an independent service district in a clinically integrated partnership with Ochsner Health System. Together, the two organizations focus on aligning their healthcare offerings to best serve patients and families in west St. Tammany and surrounding areas. Under their agreement, the two organizations retain their autonomy; neither partner manages nor owns the other. STPH is a self-supporting not-for-profit community hospital; it receives no tax funding. Learn more at

About The Gift: Launched in 2006, Louisiana’s The Gift program has designated 37 of 51 eligible birthing facilities. It is a hospital designation program that provides resources and a framework to help birthing facilities improve breastfeeding outcomes through incremental adoption of internationally recognized evidence-based practices, the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. The Gift program encourages continued progress toward pursuit of Baby-Friendly™ designation. All Louisiana birthing facilities are eligible to participate in The Gift. For more information, please visit