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Aspirus St. Luke's Director of Women's & Children's Services Honored as Champion for Health of Mothers & Children

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FROM THE MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH: The annual Betty Hubbard Maternal and Child Health Leadership Award honorees for 2022 are Rhonda Cady, Wayzata, and Lori Swanson, Aspirus St. Luke's in St. Louis County. The award recognizes people or organizations in Minnesota making significant contributions to maternal and child health.

Members serving on the Maternal and Child Health Advisory Task Force recognized Cady and Swanson this month for promoting good health for mothers and children.

“This year’s award recipients have made exceptional contributions to the health and well-being of mothers, children and families in Minnesota,” said Assistant Commissioner of Health Mary Manning. “Their dedication has helped to transform and advance health care in Minnesota and improve the lives of families across the state.”

Each year, a Betty Hubbard award is given for a statewide and a community achievement.

Community award

Lori Swanson, R.N., PHN, MBA, director of women and children’s services at St. Luke’s Hospital, received the community award for her career-long dedication to improving the lives of families, birth mothers, infants and children. She has been a strong advocate for equity in maternal and child health through initiatives and programs at St. Luke’s. She has served families in Minnesota through her leadership and collaboration with health, education and social services systems, service providers, and other professionals to improve the health of families in northern Minnesota. Swanson also oversaw projects at St. Luke’s that bring comfort to families experiencing loss before or after a birth.

Swanson helped to reduce postpartum hemorrhage rates in the hospital’s birthing center, championed initiatives to increase hepatitis B vaccine uptake in newborns, significantly improved depression screening for children ages 11-17 and greatly enhanced asthma maintenance and education in the pediatric clinic.

Her efforts helped St. Luke’s become the first Minnesota hospital to accomplish all the following designations: a baby-friendly designation; a Minnesota Breastfeeding-Friendly Maternity Center, 5-star level; and a Certified Safe Sleep Leader, silver level. She also helped lead the creation of a 24/seven pediatric hospitalist program to better serve hospitalized newborns and children.

More information about the award winners can be found on the Minnesota Department of Health website: Betty Hubbard Award. This year the 33rd annual Betty Hubbard Maternal and Child Health Leadership Awards were presented on Dec. 9 in St. Paul. The awards have been presented annually since 1990. They are sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Health and the state Maternal and Child Health Advisory Task Force in honor of Betty Hubbard, one of the original members of the Maternal and Child Health Advisory Task Force and a lifelong advocate for the health of mothers and children. Nominations for the Betty Hubbard Awards are solicited each year by the Maternal and Child Health Advisory Task Force.