Legislature(2013 - 2014)CAPITOL 106

03/14/2014 08:00 AM HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Recessed from 3/13/14 --
Moved CSHB 134(HSS) Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 250(HSS) Out of Committee
Moved Out of Committee
Moved CSHCR 19(HSS) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 214(HSS) Out of Committee
            HCR 18-BABY-FRIENDLY HOSPITAL INITIATIVE                                                                        
8:41:30 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HIGGINS announced that the  next order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE  CONCURRENT RESOLUTION  NO. 18,  Encouraging hospitals  and                                                               
birthing  facilities in  the state  to participate  in the  Baby-                                                               
Friendly Hospital  Initiative and  to support  breastfeeding; and                                                               
recognizing the benefits of breastfeeding.                                                                                      
8:42:13 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SHELLY HUGHES,  Alaska State Legislature, reported                                                               
that  one in  nine women  suffer from  postpartum depression,  34                                                               
percent of  teenagers were obese,  and 120 women out  of 100,000,                                                               
in Alaska,  annually develop  breast cancer.   She  declared that                                                               
these were all  associated to the importance  for breast feeding.                                                               
Breast  feeding offered  "an unmatched  beginning for  children,"                                                               
and  could   reduce  sudden  infant  death   syndrome,  childhood                                                               
cancers, and  diabetes.  She  stated that mothers who  breast fed                                                               
were  healthier, and  that there  was a  savings for  health care                                                               
costs.    She relayed  that  scientists  were in  agreement  that                                                               
breast  milk was  the  very  best way  to  nourish babies,  could                                                               
reduce the  occurrence of ear  infection and diabetes  in infants                                                               
by 40 percent, could reduce  symptoms of postpartum depression by                                                               
50 percent, and could protect babies  from some of the effects of                                                               
pollution.  She  declared that research had  shown that exclusive                                                               
breast  feeding  would also  naturally  space  pregnancies.   She                                                               
reported that breast  feeding could save $52  million annually in                                                               
Alaska.   She  read a  short quote  from a  nurse manager  at the                                                               
maternity outpatient clinic at  Providence Alaska Medical Center:                                                               
"No  public  health campaign  has  a  farther reaching,  positive                                                               
affect on  well-being and longevity."   She pointed out  that the                                                               
proposed resolution had  a zero fiscal note, with no  cost to the                                                               
families, as well.  The  resolution simply stated that the Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature  recognized  the aforementioned  benefits  and                                                               
recommended that  hospitals and birthing centers  attain the baby                                                               
friendly  designation   by  implementing  the  ten   steps  to  a                                                               
successful  breast  feeding  program.    She  declared  that  the                                                               
resolution  had  the  support  of  many  groups,  including  many                                                               
hospitals,   the  Alaska   State   Hospital   and  Nursing   Home                                                               
Association (ASHNHA), the Academy of  Nurses, and the Centers for                                                               
Disease  Control and  Prevention  (CDC), as  well  as many  other                                                               
national organizations.                                                                                                         
8:46:46 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HIGGINS  asked for an  explanation as to how  the mechanics                                                               
for this resolution would work.                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES replied that  the hospitals all agreed that                                                               
"it's  a good  thing."   She  said that  the proposed  resolution                                                               
would be a motivator to be used as a public education tool.                                                                     
CHAIR HIGGINS  asked how  the proposed  resolution would  get the                                                               
word out.                                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES said  that, as a sponsor, she  would get it                                                               
to  the  hospitals and  birthing  centers,  although it  did  not                                                               
technically go to anyone.                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE HIGGINS  asked if her office  would distribute the                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES  replied that  her office  would distribute                                                               
the resolution.                                                                                                                 
8:48:46 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR, reporting  that she was a  co-sponsor of the                                                               
proposed resolution, cited requirements  for employers to provide                                                               
breaks for  women to  breast feed under  the Affordable  Care and                                                               
Patient  Protection  Act.   She  encouraged  breast  feeding  and                                                               
making it easier for working mothers.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES shared  an anecdote  about a  baby on  the                                                               
floor of the House of Representatives.   She noted that there was                                                               
also a reduction  of child abuse, neglect,  and domestic violence                                                               
associated with breast feeding.                                                                                                 
CHAIR HIGGINS  reported that the hospitals  had encouraged breast                                                               
feeding for his five children.                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES  explained that  hospitals would  not offer                                                               
formula  unless  the  mother  could  not  breast  feed,  although                                                               
substance abuse mothers would not be encouraged to breast feed.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE TARR shared  that, as often the  hospital stay was                                                               
brief, breast feeding had not  yet initiated and required follow-                                                               
up to establish it successfully.                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES  emphasized  that  breast  feeding  was  a                                                               
natural resource in the State of Alaska.                                                                                        
8:53:01 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HIGGINS opened public testimony.                                                                                          
ALLISON CURRY,  regional field  organizer, Planned  Parenthood of                                                               
the  Great Northwest,  said that  breast feeding  protected "both                                                               
infants and  mothers from  a host of  chronic and  acute diseases                                                               
and conditions."   She offered  that Planned  Parenthood believed                                                               
nursing mothers needed  to feel comfortable and  supported in the                                                               
effort  to provide  for children.   She  recognized the  need for                                                               
strong public policy "that safeguard  nursing mothers' rights and                                                               
allow them  to breast feed  and express  milk at their  places of                                                               
work."   She emphasized  that health  care providers  should take                                                               
larger steps to encourage breast feeding by new mothers.                                                                        
8:54:30 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HIGGINS closed public testimony.                                                                                          
8:54:40 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  moved  to  report  HCR  18,  Version  28-                                                               
LS0727\O, out  of committee  with individual  recommendations and                                                               
the accompanying  zero fiscal notes.   There being  no objection,                                                               
HCR  18 was  moved  from  the House  Health  and Social  Services                                                               
Standing Committee.                                                                                                             

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