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UM School of Nursing Celebrates Opening of New Lactation Center

The importance of breastfeeding for babies' health, in tandem with a robust workplace lactation policy, drew a supportive crowd to the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) on Sept. 25. Faculty, staff, students, and their babies and toddlers joined University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) President Jay A. Perman, MD, and Dean Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN, to officially open the School's new lactation center.



Guests included Carmela Coyle, PhD, president and chief executive officer of the Maryland Hospital Association, who is leading an initiative to improve breastfeeding support in Maryland hospitals; and Delegate Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, BSN, a UMSON alumna and one of the leaders in getting a law that protects breastfeeding in public passed in 2003. The House of Delegates congratulated the School on the grand opening of its lactation center in a resolution signed by the leadership and dated Sept. 25.

Participants in the opening included mothers with their nurslings who have benefited from the university's supportive breastfeeding policy. Shown in the photo above are Ling-Yin Chen, PhD, assistant professor and director of evaluation at the UMSON, who brought 9-month-old Lillian Yang and who was accompanied by husband and father, Kun-Ying Yang. Also participating was UMSON Assistant Professor Lily Fountain, MS, CNM, RN, who teaches breastfeeding classes to encourage mothers and families to make the practice a part of their home lives and campus routines.

An eager tot, the daughter of Shannon Idzik, DNP, CRNP, CCRN, UMSON assistant professor and director of the doctor of nursing practice program, wielded big plastic scissors in helping to cut a ribbon to mark the availability of the new center. Conveniently located in room W202A, just off the second-floor lobby of the School at 655 W. Lombard St., UMSON's lactation center is the University's seventh such center.

Research shows that breastfeeding is important to provide the best nourishment and protect against disease. "Breastfeeding provides a protective effect against many early childhood illnesses so that children don't get sick as often. You also get your permanent employees back to work sooner and they have to take less time off of work," Perman said.

UMB adopted an official policy, Lactation Support for Nursing Mothers soon after Perman, a pediatrician, became president in 2010. The University has been awarded a D.C./Maryland Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Award (at the gold level in the large business category) in recognition of its "supportive work environment provided to breastfeeding families."

Human Resource Services (HRS)maintains a list and hours of the UMB centers and information about maternal support.

Many people across disciplines have collaborated to establish UMB's current lactation centers and support the women who use them. The ceremony honored the following campus-wide representatives on the HRS Lactation Committee: Jina Bacchus, work/life strategies specialist; Nannette Richardson, manager, benefits and work/life strategies; and Peggy Vest, HR associate, all of HRS; Ann Bonaparte, operations manager, enrollment management in the School of Pharmacy; Hillary Edwards, aacademic coordinator for the Wellness and Academic-Life Balance program; Cindy Geppi, a research administrator in the School of Medicine; John Phillips, facilities manager, School of Dentistry; Kathleen Schotto, student affairs coordinator, Francis King Carey School of Law; and Fountain.

Also honored were UMSON supporters of lactation: Jana Anderson, human resource coordinator; Associate Professor Kathleen Buckley, PhD, RN, IBCLC; Assistant Professor Deborah Busch, DNP, RN, CPNP-PC; Tom Fahey, manager, facilities support; Neil McGinn, maintenance mechanic; Katie Shanks, laboratory research technician; Enjoli Sonnier, special events coordinator; and Amanda Wozniak, writer/editor, both of the Office of Communications.

UMSON champions who were recognized along with their children who have benefited by breastfeeding included Idzik, with Caroline Idzik, 18 months; Tara Byrd, assistant director, scholarships and grants, with Garret Byrd, 6 months; and Chen and her family. UMSON students who attended with their children included Tammy Parks, with Gia Parks; and Rachael Parran, BSN, RN, with Khalil Parran Jr.

The University of Maryland Medical Center , which offers a breastfeeding help line for the public at 410-328-3512, is among hospitals committed to the Maryland Hospital Breastfeeding Policy Recommendations, as the Maryland Hospital Association announced earlier this year.

Posting Date: 10/09/2013
Contact Name: Patricia Fanning
Contact Phone: 410-706-7946
Contact Email: pfanning@umaryland.edu