Question: Should our hospital’s breastfeeding classes, which are open to the community but mostly attended by our patients, be reported as community benefit?
Recommendation: We recommend reporting breastfeeding classes as community benefit under the following circumstances:
1) The program is related to an identified community health need. For example if childhood obesity has been identified as a community health need and the program is an intervention to address the problem (breastfeeding is an evidence-based strategy for addressing childhood obesity in the CDC’s Community Guide) ;
2) The program is truly open and promoted to the broad community, beyond the patients served by the hospital, including low income women and
3) The program is not provided primarily for marketing or public relations purposes but is primarily provided to improve community health
(Updated September 1, 2016)