St. Catherine Hospital's Maternal Child Center is inviting the pubic to a come-and-go reception Monday celebrating the hospital being recognized as a Baby Friendly facility, only the second in Kansas.

The Baby Friendly designation recognizes hospitals that offer the finest level of care for infant feeding, skin-to-skin contact and mother-baby bonding.

The reception is planned for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday in Classroom B on the hospital's lower level, with a light lunch provided compliments of the hospital.

“I encourage everyone to stop by Monday and join the festivities. Our staff has worked so hard, and they want to share the celebration of this accomplishment with you. After all, this community — the people we serve — is why we did it,” said Hospital President and CEO Scott Taylor.

The Baby-Friendly Hospital initiative is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Baby-Friendly USA is the program’s authority for program implementation in this country, and granted the award to St. Catherine, after completion of a rigorous on-site survey.

The road to the designation began in 2013, when St. Catherine Hospital decided to participate in High 5 for Mom & Baby, a program initiated and funded by the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund that encourages evidence-based maternity care practices that support breastfeeding.

St. Catherine became one of only 100 hospitals in the country selected for funding by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to participate in the EMPower Breastfeeding Training, a program to assist hospitals in the process of incorporating the 10 steps to successful breastfeeding to which a hospital must adhere to receive and retain a Baby-Friendly designation.

For more information about the celebration, contact Janet Colson at (620) 272-2309 or M.JanetColson@Centura.Org.