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Sutter Davis Hospital’s Volunteer Doula Program Earns HAVE Award

Posted by on May 6, 2016 in Sutter Davis Hospital, Women's Services | 0 comments

Sutter Davis Hospital's Doula Program offers support to birthing mothers and their families.

Sutter Davis Hospital’s Doula Program offers support to birthing mothers and their families.

DAVIS – Sutter Davis Hospital’s volunteer doula program was recognized with 2016 American Hospital Association’s Hospital Awards for Volunteer Excellence (HAVE) honor in the Community Services Category.

The goal of Sutter Davis’ Volunteer Doula Program is to provide free doula support to laboring or postpartum patients. The term doula comes from the Greek word meaning “a woman who serves.”  Volunteer doulas are non-clinical members of the care team who provide support in accordance with the medical/midwifery plan of care and patient preference.  The doula’s role includes hands-on physical and psychological support during birth.

“We are honored to receive this award from such a reputable organization as the American Hospital Association,” said Jennifer Maher, CEO, Sutter Davis Hospital. “Our volunteer doula program is just one of the many services that make Sutter Davis Hospital unique. Families come from miles around to experience our birthing center and have one of our outstanding doulas help in the delivery of their baby. It’s rewarding to see that an organization such as the AHA values this program as much as we do.”

Some 23 percent of the hospital’s 1,500 births annually are attended by volunteer doulas. Patients attended by doulas have fewer medical interventions, improved bonding with their babies, higher breastfeeding rates, lower cesarean rates, fewer incidents of post-partum depression and mood disorders, and lower medication usage.

“Our doulas provide amazing support to our families – both the birthing mother and her partner,” said Sutter Davis Hospital Birthing Center Manager Carolyn Campos, R.N. “We are very fortunate to have this program here and are honored to have it recognized.”

Volunteer doulas are required to participate in a robust community outreach program to educate the public about the impact doulas can have on patient care. The doulas are also included in monthly process improvement meetings that include patients, families, nurses, midwives, physicians, nurse practitioners and childbirth educators.

The doula program has been active since 1994, and now includes 60 volunteers from the community. Applications for 10-15 positions open twice a year, and often draw 100 applicants each round.  Doulas receive continuing education and are required to fulfill a two-year commitment of a minimum of 16 hours of call each month.  The program also serves as a workforce recruiting tool for new registered nurses seeking training opportunities.

Visit Sutter Davis Hospital’s website to learn more about the Volunteer Doula Program.

Posted by on May 6, 2016 in Sutter Davis Hospital, Women's Services | 0 comments