University Hospital


April 18, 2017



April 18, 2017

Office:      (973) 972-8761
Mobile:    (973) 634-8298


University Hospital Celebrates Designation as First Baby-Friendly
Hospital in the City of Newark and Essex County New Jersey

State officials gather to celebrate important step
toward improving the health of newborns

NEWARK, NJ -- University Hospital now officially joins the ranks of hundreds of hospitals across the country who have successfully earned the “Baby Friendly” status as designated by Baby Friendly USA. University Hospital is the first hospital in the City of Newark and Essex County, New Jersey who have successfully earned the coveted designation.

To celebrate the new designation, employees, physicians, volunteers, and new and expecting mothers attended a celebration held at University Hospital on Tuesday, April 18th at 11:00 AM. Also attending the event were representatives from the State’s 29th Legislative District, Senator M. Teresa Ruiz, Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin, Assemblywoman Blonnie Watson, and Councilman Joseph McCallum, of the Newark Municipal Council (West Ward). McCallum also chairs the Municipal Council’s Health Committee.

University Hospital’s President and CEO, John N. Kastanis, MBA, FACHE stated “The Baby Friendly initiative reflects a broad commitment that University Hospital has made to the residents of this community. This [designation] is another great example of University Hospital’s ability to identify a need and respond to it.”

State Senator Ruiz stated “There is an extraordinary adventure that begins the moment that a new baby arrives at home, and as a new mother, I quickly realized the miracle of breastfeeding, that enables me to bond and provide nourishment for my daughter. The ‘Baby Friendly’ designation confirms that mothers of babies born at University Hospital receive support in a healthy and loving environment so that they receive a healthy start.”

The Baby Friendly Health Initiative is a global program launched in 1991 by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Through the program, new mothers are encouraged to nourish their newborn children with breast milk rather than formula or other substitutes. Breastfeeding has been demonstrated to lower the risks for certain diseases and to improve health outcomes for both mothers and their newborns.

The celebration marks the end of a four-year campaign to advocate and aggressively support breastfeeding within the hospital and the community as the healthy choice for newborn children and their mothers.

To achieve the Baby-Friendly designation, hospitals are required to institute and then maintain a Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding program. Hospitals must:

  • Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff
  • Train all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy
  • Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding
  • Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth
  • Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants
  • Give infants no food or drink other than breast-milk, unless medically indicated
  • Practice rooming in - allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day
  • Encourage breastfeeding on demand
  • Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants
  • Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or birth center

In photo (L-R): Carl Kirton, DNP, Chief Nursing Officer, UH; Honorable Joseph McCallum, Councilman, West Ward/Chairman, Newark Municipal Council Health Committee; Honorable Blonnie Watson, New Jersey General Assembly, 29th Legislative District; Honorable M. Teresa Ruiz, New Jersey Senate, 29th Legislative District; Honorable Eliana Pintor Marin, New Jersey General Assembly, 29th Legislative District; and John N. Kastanis, MBA, FACHE, President and CEO, University Hospital.


University Hospital is one of the nation's leading academic medical centers, and is the Level 1 Trauma Center for Northern New Jersey. Located at University Heights in Newark, New Jersey, University Hospital is a principal teaching hospital of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences and a regional resource for advanced services across many medical specialties. For more information about University Hospital, please visit