Lactation Consultant Hall of Excellence

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Today the majority of women in North America choose to breastfeed. This choice reflects the support and hard work of lactation consultants who devote themselves to helping women breastfeed successfully. These dedicated professionals make the difference for new moms, and Medela is honored to work with them and to support their efforts in promoting breastfeeding.

A special thank you to the many nominators that spoke so highly and congratulations to the elite group of nominees.  You all are demonstrations of excellence every day.  Thank You.

2006 Lactation Consultant Hall of Excellence Inductees

Sylvia Delaney, RN, MS, IBCLC
Bellerose, NY
Inductee Sylvia Delaney has been an active member of the lactation consultant community for over 20 years and has been referred to as a leader by her colleagues and clients. Delaney,  was co-chair of the New York City Provider Network, a professional organization that brought lactation education to other professionals. She has also co-authored and produced a breastfeeding video which has been endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics. In addition, Delaney was co-founder of an annual six-day lactation course to educate aspiring lactation consultants and is a volunteer for the New York State Breastfeeding Advisory Council. She is a nurse specialist and lactation consultant at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, where she founded and still facilitates the Breastfeeding Mothers Support Group which is open to all area breastfeeding mothers. “This honor is very special to me, but there are a lot of lactation consultants who are involved in getting us here,” said Delaney. “Many of my colleagues have mentored each other. These professionals are helping others reach this level with the focus entirely on the mother and baby-feeding experience.”

Aimee Gross, ARNP, IBCLC
Topeka, KS

Inductee Aimee Gross has been a nurse for 29 years and a lactation consultant for 10 years. She has worked tirelessly to facilitate programs and services that promote breastfeeding, including spearheading the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative at St. Francis Hospital in Topeka, Kansas where she works. Gross founded the Kaw Area Breastfeeding Coalition, nine drop-in breastfeeding clinics for families in the Topeka community and created the ARNP-managed New Born Follow-Up Clinic. In addition, she has conducted important research for the lactation field and has been a noted speaker at several conferences and medical events.  “I am so happy and honored to be recognized as a member of the Lactation Consultant Hall of Excellence," said Gross. "I think educating women about breastfeeding is a huge, important thing."

Rebecca Mannel, BS, IBCLC
Tulsa, OK
Inductee Rebecca Mannel has been a lactation consultant for nine years and is the current president of the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA). Mannel founded the Lactation Center at the Oklahoma University Medical Center where she works, helping to increase breastfeeding initiation rates. She has also been an advocate for the legislation in Oklahoma for rights of breastfeeding mothers, speaking before House and Senate committees in support of the Working Mothers Breastfeeding Bill. Additionally, she has founded several educational courses about breastfeeding and lactation consulting.  “I appreciate what Medela has done for the IBCLC and the profession,” said Mannel. “Lactation consulting is still a young profession and it’s working hard to gain credibility and be recognized as a valuable member of the health care team. I think this program will do a lot to raise awareness of the profession and the different things we do to help mothers and their babies.”

2007 Lactation Consultant Hall of Excellence Inductees

Kimberly Barbas, RN, BSN, IBCLC
Boston, MA
Inductee Kimberly Barbas, a nurse for twenty years and a lactation consultant for fourteen years, was responsible for the initiation and development of a 1988 lactation support program at Children's Hospital Boston.  Barbas also volunteers to provide peer support to nursing mothers through her involvement in the Nursing Mothers' Council.  She has published research studies about the benefits of breastmilk in Pediatric Nursing and the AORN Pediatric Specialty Assembly and is an active Breastfeeding educator who has presented at both the national and local level.  "We would like to use the grant money to increase the use of donor milk in our hospital.  Since donor milk is not something commonly reimbursed by insurance, using the funding to cover the cost of donor milk and implementing it as part of our standard of care would allow more newborns to be exclusively breastmilk fed."

Dawn Frank,  RN, BSN, IBCLC
Long Island, NY

Inductee Dawn Frank, a nurse for thirty-six years, was first certified as a lactation consultant in 1986.  Frank founded the Long Island Lactation Consultant Association, coordinated the Annual Breastfeeding Conferences at Stony Brook University for a number of years and co-developed a six-day lactation education course.  She is a vocal breastfeeding advocate and has been published in articles in Nursing Spectrum, Long Island Parenting News, Parent Connections and Newsday.  "The lactation consulting field is in its infancy and not enough professionals or lay people really know what we're all about.  It is gratifying to know that there are folks like those at Medela who acknowledge the work of lactation consultants and see fit to publicly recognize our efforts," said Frank.

Rebecca Saenz, MD, IBCKC, FABM, LLL
Madison, MS
Inductee Rebecca Saenz, founded the UMC Breastfeeding Consult Service, which serves as a statewide referral center for mothers experiencing problems with breastfeeding.  She also opened the Mississippi Breastfeeding Medicine Clinic in 2003 and has published countless academic works on breastmilk and infant health.  In addition to being an ILCA member, Saenz is an active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, the Mississippi Breastfeeding Coalition and La Leche League Medical Associates.  "Being a lactation consultant is one of the most gratifying things I have ever done,"said Saenz.  "I practiced family medicine before becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and while that was gratifying, it was also frustrating at times.  Being a lactation consultant and a breastfeeding medicine specialist gives me the warm fuzzies every single day." 

Lactation Consultant Hall of Excellence Inductees

Cordova, Tennessee
Inductee Julie Ware, a certified lactation consultant since 1996, is immediate past Chief Chapter Breastfeeding Coordinator of the American Academy of Pediatrics where she acted as a liaison between 78 Chapter Breastfeeding Coordinators across the country.  She also helped to establish the Shelby County Breastfeeding Coalition in 2007, joining community organizations to help raise breastfeeding rates and assist breastfeeding mothers.  Ware also provides training to local pediatric practices and coordinates exhibits and breastfeeding classes for the public.  "I definitely think this recognition will raise awareness of the importance of the need for specialization in lactation education to help mothers and babies succeed in their efforts to breastfeed, both in my community and at large."

Karen Dietzen, RN, IBCLC
UCD Medical Center
Sacramento, California
Inductee Karen Dietzen, a lactation consultant for more than 20 years.  She was a founding member and President of the ALTA CA Lactation Consultant Association and one of the original members of the Breastfeeding Promotion Advisory Committee for the California State Department of Health where she has worked to increase awareness of lactation consultants as valuable members of the overall health team.  As a Lactation Program Coordinator at UC David Health System, Dietzen has developed numerous in-patient components of lactation services including the mentoring of nurses and lactation students as part of her plan for accurate, supportive lactation guidance throughout the continuum of care.  Karen, who is active in fostering an environment of learning for the multidisciplinary staff at UC Davis and has recently led efforts for the facility to become a Baby Friendly Hospital says, "I hope this recognition will be an opportunity to increase attention about the importance of lactation support in our community and how effective it can be in improving breastfeeding rates."

Carole Peterson, MS, IBCLC
Indiana WIC Program
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Inductee Carole Peterson, a lactation consultant for more than 20 years, has worked to make breastfeeding a priority for the WIC program and its participants.  She has served as a member of the Indiana State Breastfeeding Committee, acted as a National WIC Association Breastfeeding Committee Chairperson, and is the NWA representative to the US Breastfeeding Committee.  She is the Indiana WIC North Central Regional Coordinator for the Indiana WIC Program.  She conducts monthly trainings for the WIC Peer Counselor Program.  Carole has also tried to connect local hospitals and the WIC program to increase breastfeeding duration rates at over 65 hospitals in Indiana and in Illinois.  Of the grant money awarded to her through the Lactation Consultant Hall of Excellence program, Peterson said, "I have established a trust fund to promote breastfeeding support, naming it after my daughter and grandson.  This tax deductible foundation will allow myself and others to contribute money in support of breastfeeding.  In doing so, I hope to be able to provide scholarships for people to become board certified lactation consultants and also to create programs that will really help support moms once they are at home."

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