Oklahoma medical news briefs

Oklahoma medical news briefs for Feb. 24, 2013.
FROM STAFF REPORTS Published: February 24, 2013
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Medical notes

Mobile dental unit unveiled

The Delta Dental of Oklahoma Oral Health Foundation and the Oklahoma Dental Foundation recently announced a partnership program known as MobileSmiles Oklahoma. The program provides for dental clinics on wheels to provide low-cost and free dental care. Two mobile dental units will travel throughout Oklahoma on visits organized through a local site partner, such as a nonprofit organization, church, school or agency. Site partners prequalify and schedule prospective patients who may otherwise not have access to dental care. The organization's website is www.MobileSmilesOK.org. Fifty-six counties in Oklahoma have a shortage of dental health professionals, according to the state Health Department.

Breast-feeding promoted

Several Oklahoma hospitals are working to promote and support best breast-feeding practices so they can win “baby-friendly” designation. More than 38,000 Oklahoma infants start out breast-feeding each year in the hospital, but within eight weeks, almost 27,000 have stopped, according to the state Health Department. To reverse this trend and improve infant health, Oklahoma hospitals are taking on the challenge of becoming designated as baby-friendly hospitals. This is a World Health Organization designation which ensures promotion and support of breast-feeding in the hospital and beyond. Only 7 percent of U.S. babies are born in baby-friendly hospitals; no state hospitals have this designation. Hospitals designated as baby-friendly have demonstrated best practice in the care of mothers and newborns, and improved breast-feeding rates. On March 1, a statewide Baby-Friendly Summit will be on the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center campus to educate hospital leaders about becoming baby-friendly.

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