CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: FARZANA RAHIMI!

Oct 18, 2021

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Farzana, who is Afghani and has previously lived in Iran, works for CHEERing as the manager of CHEERing’s STARS (Soccer Teams and Refugee Solidarity) program, and as a breastfeeding peer counselor and Farsi translator. But Farzana does so much more. She and her family live in the Malakasa refugee camp about 40 minutes north of […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: CINNAMOMS!

Oct 11, 2021

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CinnaMoms is a Los Angeles based breastfeeding support group created by and for Black/African American women. CinnaMoms provides support services to encourage breastfeeding, facilitate necessary conversations around maternal and postpartum health, and break down barriers to breastfeeding. They were nominated by Wendy Fung for “their efforts to reduce infant mortality and improve breastfeeding support for African […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: AGENCY PARTNER INTERACTIVE (API)!

Oct 4, 2021

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This week we would like to recognize Agency Partner Interactive (API) for their wonderful work on our new CHEER website. Agency Partner is a digital marketing, web development, and branding company based in Dallas, TX. Since its founding, Agency Partner has successfully completed over 1200 digital projects for nearly 600 organizations, including major health systems, […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: DEBBIE THOMAS!

Sep 27, 2021

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Debbie Thomas, CLC, is a retired La Leche League leader and WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor in Rankin County, Mississippi. Debbie has served as a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor for 27 years; she was nominated for her passion and consistency in advocating for breastfeeding. “In these difficult times, her [Debbie’s] experience has been exemplary, and her consistency […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: WHITNEY DULA!

Sep 20, 2021

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Whitney Dula, BS, CBS, is a lactation counselor at Babies Born Healthy Montgomery County (MD), lead breastfeeding specialist at the Mama’s Dula, and president of the Maryland Breastfeeding Coalition. She was nominated by Jasmine Esmay, BSN, RNC-OB, IBCLC, who described Whitney as a “tireless advocate for breastfeeding equality and equity” and a “perfect example of […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: CHOOSE LOVE!

Sep 13, 2021

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This week’s CHEER CHAMPion is Choose Love, an organization that collaborates with local organizations to provide relief services and emergency aid where the need is greatest. Since their inception in 2015, Choose Love has reached over one million people through 120 projects in 15 countries across Europe, the Middle East, and including the US-Mexico border. […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: NICHELLE CLARK!

Aug 30, 2021

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Our CHEER CHAMPion and Community Lactivist of the Week is Nichelle Clark, IBCLC, RLC, CBS! Nichelle is the owner of SonShine & Rainbows Lactation Services, a community breastfeeding education and support organization, and the founder of Black Breastfeeding 365, an organization that strives to bridge the gap between Black parents and the White providers who […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: SPECIAL FEATURE- A TALE OF TWO GENERATIONS

Aug 23, 2021

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In honor of the first Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Breastfeeding Week, this week’s post features stories about the South Asian breastfeeding experience in America. The theme for AANHPI Breastfeeding Week is “Reclaiming Our Tradition,” honoring the breastfeeding heritage and traditions of AANHPI people in the diaspora. Infants in South Asia are […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: WEN TING (WENDY) FUNG!

Aug 16, 2021

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In celebration of the inaugural Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Breastfeeding Week, this week’s CHEER CHAMPion is Wen Ting (Wendy) Fung, MS, RD, and soon-to-be IBCLC. Wendy is the Breastfeeding Services Supervisor at Public Health Foundation Enterprise (PHFE) WIC in Los Angeles County and Co-founder of Asian & Pacific Islander (API) Breastfeeding […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: JASHA LYONS ECHO-HAWK!

Aug 9, 2021

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This week, we honor the work of Jasha Lyons Echo-Hawk, BA, Founder of Indigenous Milk Medicine Week (formerly Native Breastfeeding Week), Co-founder of Indigenous Milk Medicine Collective, Birthworker & Student Midwife. They are a life-long justice seeker, community builder, part-time marathoner, and a proud tribal citizen of the Seminole, as well as the Pawnee, Iowa, […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: JESUIT REFUGEE SERVICE (JRS)!

Aug 2, 2021

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The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is a multinational organization that accompanies, serves and advocates for the rights of refugees and forcibly displaced persons, so that they may heal, learn, and be stewards of their own future. Founded in 1980, the organization currently works in 56 countries (including Greece) to meet the education, health, and social […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: NURUL HUSNA MOHD SHUKRI!

Jul 26, 2021

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Nurul Husna Mohd Shukri, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher at Universiti Putra Malaysia. She is also a breastfeeding peer counselor and advocate who was nominated for her research and contributions to global breastfeeding and maternal child health. “To be honest, when I just started becoming a breastfeeding peer counselor, I used to think […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: LAURA CAUSEY, TERA GIVENS, & RACHEL GALDINO!

Jul 19, 2021

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This week, we would like to recognize Laura Causey, Tera Givens, and Rachel Galdino for their enthusiasm in motivating and educating mothers about breastfeeding! Laura, Tera, and Rachel are nurses at Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center (SMRMC) where they have emerged winners of their unit’s friendly competition to motivate nursing staff and increase breastfeeding initiation […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: MAETAL HAAS-KOGAN!

Jul 12, 2021

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Congratulations to our CHEER CHAMPion of the Week, Maetal Haas-Kogan, BA, former CHEER Research Assistant! During her time at CHEER, Maetal was involved in most of our initiatives in Mississippi, Greece, and Boston. She provided support to hospitals pursuing Baby-Friendly designation through site visits and mock assessments, coordinated trainings, and facilitated our Wednesday and COVID-19 […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: BHAVANA ANNAPRAGADA, RANA SABREEN, & MARINA MENCHINI!

Apr 12, 2021

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In celebration of National Student Employee Week, CHEER and CHEERing would like to recognize our student workers for their excellent work and the amazing support they provide to our organization! ​Bhavana Annapragada, BTech, Student Research Assistant at CHEER Bhavana is an Epidemiology and Biostatistics MPH candidate at Boston University School of Public Health. She is passionate about maternal health […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: UPLIFTING MAMAS COMMUNITY DOULA PROGRAM!

Apr 5, 2021

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Uplifting Mamas Community Doula program was created to increase the number of persons of color doing birth and breastfeeding work in the Mississippi Delta. It is a collaborative effort between Early Dawn Birthing Services, and Clarksdale Baby University to improve breastfeeding support and maternal child health outcomes. “We are doing this program through a grant from […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: OLIVIA KRAL PERRY!

Mar 29, 2021

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Olivia Kral Perry, CLC, is a Mississippi WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor and mom of two. She was nominated by her team member at MS WIC who described her as having “true passion for the incomparable value of breastmilk, and a compassionate heart towards serving mommas and meeting their needs, where they are.” In her role […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: GLOCAL ROOTS (WE ARE ONE CENTRE SAMOS)!

Mar 22, 2021

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Glocal Roots is an international organization that helps people with refugee backgrounds to, once again, become autonomous, independent, and self-reliant members of society. They were nominated for their wonderful work with mothers and babies and the support that their “We are One” Center provides to women at the Samos refugee camp, Greece. Founded in December 2017, this small, but efficient […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: JEROME (JERRY) KLEIN, MD!

Mar 15, 2021

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In celebration of his life and in honor of his legacy, this week’s CHEER CHAMPion is Dr. Jerome Klein, Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine and former Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Boston Medical Center. Dr. Klein was an internationally renowned leader in pediatric infectious diseases, professor, and researcher, who […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: ALAURA RHEA!

Mar 8, 2021

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This week’s CHAMPion is Ms. Alaura Rhea, a mother of two and employee of Franklin Corporation in East Mississippi. Alaura was nominated by her WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor, for her determination to overcome breastfeeding difficulties and to manage pumping while at work. “When I had my first daughter at 17, I did not look into […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: JACKSON MEDGAR WILEY EVERS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Feb 24, 2021

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CHEER is pleased to recognize the Jackson-Evers International Airport for their continuous commitment to providing safe lactation spaces for their employees and breastfeeding moms in transit. Despite many state laws protecting the right to breastfeed in public, it is still highly stigmatized in some places, and breastfeeding in public can feel uncomfortable for many mothers. […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: JASMINE ESMAY!

Feb 22, 2021

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This week’s CHEER CHAMPion is Jasmine Esmay, BSN, RNC-OB, CLC, and IBCLC. Jasmine works as a Certified Inpatient Obstetric Nurse and Lactation Consultant at Southeast Alaska Regional Healthcare System (SEARHC), Mt. Edgecumbe Medical Center. She has been a nurse for 17 years and currently works in the Obstetric department at SEARHC as a frontline nurse caring […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: MARINA LIAKIS!

Feb 1, 2021

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This week’s CHAMPion is Marina Liakis, a French/Greek national who runs the Orange House and Tastes of Damascus to serve the refugee population in Greece, and has collaborated with CHEERing on various projects. Recently Marina had a baby in Greece and has become a breastfeeding advocate and supporter after learning a great deal through her personal experience. […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: BRITTANY ISLER!

Jan 25, 2021

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Congratulations to CHEER CHAMPion of the Week, Brittany Isler, MS WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor II, and soon-to-be CLC. Known as “The Breastfeeding Girl” in her hometown of Cleveland, MS, Brittany was nominated for her efforts to support breastfeeding moms and normalize breastfeeding within her community. “My community is so small and everyone knows everyone. I […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: PROJECT ELEA!

Jan 11, 2021

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Project Elea is a global network of volunteers who work collaboratively with the residents of Eleonas Refugee Camp in Athens to improve living standards and community well-being. The project stands out for their emphasis on creative engagement of both children and adults, in addition to providing basic services like food and clothing distribution. Project Elea is […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: KIMBERLY S. RICKARD!

Jan 4, 2021

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This week’s CHAMPion is Kimberly Rickard, MSN, CNM, a registered nurse with 24 years of experience working in women’s health. She was nominated for recently completing her Nursing Certification in Midwifery at Frontier Nursing University, for her many years of leading University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC)’s Baby-Friendly designation efforts, and for being among the […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: ALEXANDRA BEEDLE!

Dec 14, 2020

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Our CHEER Champion this week is Alexandra Beedle, MSC, ANutr, and Volunteer for CHEER International Group (CHEERing). Alexandra was nominated for her dedication and tenacity in going to serve vulnerable populations in Greece, during the current global pandemic. “I am a humanitarian and the pandemic does not deter me from my work. On the contrary, […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: “BIKERS FOR BABIES” OF THE MOVING VIOLATIONS MOTORCYCLE CLUB!

Dec 7, 2020

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This week’s CHAMPions are the women of the Moving Violations Motorcycle Club of Boston, popularly known as the “Bikers for Babies”. They were nominated for their volunteer work with the Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast and their heroic rescue of 1,000 ounces of donated breast milk following power outage from Tropical Storm Isaias in Connecticut. Moving […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: LEILA MAHBUBI!

Nov 30, 2020

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Congratulations to CHEER CHAMPion of the Week, Leila Mahbubi, BA, Breastfeeding Counselor and Interpreter for CHEERing, our Greece-based sister organization. Leila was nominated for her passion and commitment to serving families in Elna’s shelter and other camps. She is a native of Iran where she studied pharmacy and architecture, and worked as a pharmacist for […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: JACKSON-MEDGAR WILEY EVERS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Nov 23, 2020

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CHEER is pleased to recognize the Jackson-Evers International Airport for their continuous commitment to providing safe lactation spaces for their employees and breastfeeding moms in transit. Despite many state laws protecting the right to breastfeed in public, it is still highly stigmatized in some places, and breastfeeding in public can feel uncomfortable for many mothers. Prior to […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: PAPY KUYOWA NDOTONI!

Nov 16, 2020

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This week’s CHAMPion is Papy Kuyowa Ndotoni. Papy is Congolese and lives in Athens, Greece. Papy, the father of a breastfed baby, and husband of a CHEERing peer counselor in Athens, has consistently helped the CHEERing team, as a French translator, educator, and general supporter. His cheerfulness, support, and willingness to help out CHEERing with […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: SIRENS MOTORCYCLE CLUB!

Nov 9, 2020

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Our CHEER CHAMPion of the Week is the Sirens Motorcycle Club, also known as the NYC Breast Milk Riders! The Sirens Motorcycle Club is the oldest, largest women’s motorcycle club in NYC. It was founded in 1986, and now consists of over 60 members, half of whom are in the Milk Riders group. The Sirens […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: DR. MELYNDA NOBLE!

Oct 26, 2020

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Congratulations to Dr. Melynda Noble, M.D. FAAP, our CHEER Champion of the Week. Dr. Noble is the Pediatric hospitalist and Chief of Pediatrics at Greenwood Leflore Hospital (GLH). She was nominated for her incredible efforts to promote the Baby-Friendly initiative at that hospital. Few hospitals in Mississippi have physicians leading their Baby-Friendly work, so Dr. […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: KIMBERLY MOORE!

Oct 19, 2020

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Congratulations to CHEER CHAMPion of the Week, Kimberly Moore, RN, and Director of the Women’s Center for NMMC Gilmore-Amory! In her role as director, Kimberly maintains the Baby-Friendly hospital initiative and the MS Perinatal Quality Collaborative (MSPQC) bundles. She also oversees the labor and delivery, NICU, nursery, and postpartum units; among other duties. During the […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: SUPREME COURT JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG!

Oct 12, 2020

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This CHAMPion of the Week post is in honor of the late Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020), popularly known as the “Notorious R.B.G”. Justice Bader Ginsburg represented many things to many people; to us she was a hero, an unrelenting advocate for women’s rights, and a symbol of true public service. RBG was […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: VALERIE HARRIS!

Oct 5, 2020

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Today’s CHEER Champion is Valerie Harris, LPN, CLC, and BFHI Coordinator for St. Dominic Memorial Hospital! Valerie works directly with managers on the Post-Partum, L&D, NICU, and Well Baby units to implement BFHI. She is responsible for stewardship of the project, doing the audits, and ensuring that everyone properly implements and documents the Baby-Friendly practices. […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: DR. ANITA HENDERSON!

Sep 28, 2020

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​Congratulations to CHEER Champion of the Week, Anita S. Henderson MD, FAAP. Dr. Henderson is a pediatrician at The Pediatric Clinic -a division of the Hattiesburg Clinic-, a medical staff member at Forrest General Hospital, and President-Elect for the Mississippi Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). She was nominated for her leadership as […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: WAETIE-SANAA COOPER BURNETTE!

Sep 21, 2020

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Congratulations to CHEER Champion of the Week, Waetie-Sanaa Cooper Burnette, B.A, Th.M., CLC. She is also a maternal health blogger, co-facilitator of the Baby Cafe at Codman Square, and co-founder of BreastPowered.org; a platform where art and stories are used to expand conversations about breastfeeding and the needs of BIPOC families and lactation professionals. Born and […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: IHS CHINLE, NORTHERN NAVAJO, AND GALLUP!

Sep 14, 2020

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This week’s CHAMPions are the three Navajo area Indian Health Service (IHS) federally operated hospitals, Chinle Comprehensive Health Care Facility (CCHCF), Northern Navajo Medical Center (NNMC) Shiprock, and Gallup Indian Medical Center (GIMC). All three have been successfully re-designated as Baby-Friendly hospitals. ​ The Baby-Friendly re-designation process requires data collection, monitoring of practices, and quality […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: DR. MICHELLE Y. OWENS!

Aug 31, 2020

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Our CHEER Champion of the week is Dr. Michelle Owens, MD, MS, Professor, Division Chief and Fellowship Director, Maternal Fetal Medicine, at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. In these roles, she provides hospital and clinic care for pregnant women and their babies and is responsible for the education of trainees and physicians. She was […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: ANGELA FERGUSON-PARKER!

Aug 24, 2020

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​Our CHEER Champion of the Week is Angela Ferguson-Parker, Certified Lactation Counselor for Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center (SMRMC). Angela has worked on the Labor Delivery and Postpartum (LDRP) unit for 12 years. In her role as CLC, she provides clinical breastfeeding counseling management and support to families who are thinking about breastfeeding, or who need […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: SHANNON RICHARDSON!

Aug 17, 2020

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This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Shannon Richardson, RN CLC, Obstetrics Nurse Manager and BFHI lead at Wayne General Hospital. Shannon manages the obstetrics department and is responsible for the data collection, monthly audits, staff education, policy development, and all things related to the progression of Baby-Friendly. She was nominated for her positivity […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: THERESA LANDAU!

Aug 10, 2020

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Congratulations to CHEER Champion of the Week, Theresa Landau, MS, RDN, CDN, CLC. Theresa is the Senior Associate Director of Morrisania/Gotham Health and WIC Director of the Morrisania WIC Program. She was nominated for her amazing leadership of Morrisania, especially during the recent COVID-19 outbreak in NYC, and her wonderful presentation on the CHAMPS COVID-19 […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: DEIDRA AND MILES WESLEY!

Jul 27, 2020

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Our CHEER Champions of the Week are Deidra Wesley (MA), and her baby, Miles. Deidra and Miles were nominated for their excellent work on the IPE filming which took place earlier this year in Jackson, Mississippi. Deidra is a producer, fitness model, and actress who played the role of a new mom along with her […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: CHARLENE C. FRASER!

Jul 20, 2020

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​Congratulations to our CHEER Champion of the Week, Charlene C. Fraser, B.S (Human Services), CLC, Newborn Care Specialist and Birth Doula. Charlene is an affiliate of the Vital Village Network and Boston Breastfeeding Coalition, she was nominated for her lactation support services to families and her excellent presentation during the CHAMPS COVID-19 Webinar: Community Support (Re)Structures […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: DOMINIQUE BELLEGARDE!

Jul 13, 2020

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Our CHEER Champion of the week is Dominique Bellegarde, BA (Human Services), CLC, CLE, and CCHW (Certified Community Health Worker). Dominique is a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor who co-facilitates a Boston Medical Center (BMC) Baby Café. She was nominated for her creativity and commitment in providing services to moms and families and her excellent presentation during […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: JORDAN KELLAR!

Jul 6, 2020

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This week’s CHEER Champion is Jordan Kellar, ADN, RN, IBCLC at Highland Community Hospital in Picayune, MS.  In her role as a lactation nurse, Jordan provides lactation counseling to patients both in the hospital and post discharge, and leads the breastfeeding task force at Highland. She also helps to maintain the hospital’s Baby Friendly practices […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: DR. JACK MAYPOLE!

Jun 29, 2020

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We are honored to recognize Dr. John (Jack) Maypole, MD as our CHEER Champion of the Week. Dr. Maypole is the Vice Chair of the Pediatrics Department, and Director of Comprehensive Care Program at Boston Medical Center (BMC) and Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine. In addition to being a […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: DAWN KENNEDY!

Jun 22, 2020

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Today’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Dawn Kennedy, CLC, BA, and owner of Vital Milk, an accredited durable medical equipment company and perinatal support organization in Massachusetts. “Vital Milk is the only certified minority and minority owned breast pump supplier in MA. Our primary goal is to provide mother-to-mother support, evidence-based lactation support, and insurance-covered […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: DIANE L. SPATZ!

Jun 15, 2020

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Our CHEER Champion of the Week is Diane L. Spatz, PHD, RN-BC, FAAN, Professor of Perinatal Nursing and Helen M. Shearer professor of Nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. She is also a nurse scientist in lactation at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Founder of the CHOP Mothers’ Milk Bank. […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: ZAHRA KOOPAEI!

Jun 8, 2020

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Today’s CHEER Champion is Zahra Koopaei, BA, WIC Bureau Chief for the Houston Health Department. Zahra was nominated for her long and outstanding service as a proponent of breastfeeding and leader for WIC Project 26 Houston and for honoring our invitation to speak at the last CHAMPS conference. Zahra, an Iranian native, immigrated to the United States […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: BAPTIST MEMORIAL HOSPITAL – GOLDEN TRIANGLE!

Jun 1, 2020

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Congratulations to CHAMPS hospital Baptist Memorial Hospital – Golden Triangle (BMH-GT) in Columbus, Mississippi, for becoming Baby-Friendly designated on February 4, 2019! BMH-GT has approximately 900 births per year and a level II NICU. ​ “It feels exhilarating to be Baby-Friendly!” shares Susan Spencer, MSN, RNC-OB, IBCLC, Director of Women’s Services and CHAMPS Team Leader at […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: LAURANCE MENETIAN!

May 18, 2020

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As Greece reopens, post COVID-19 surge, and regular activities slowly resume, we would like to recognize Laurance Menetian, as CHEER Champion of the week. Laurance is a Psychologist, Psychotherapist, and Clinical Criminologist who collaborates with CHEER’s International Branch, CHEERing. She works as a Protection PSS (Psychosocial Support) Specialist under the Danish Refugee Council (DRC). She works […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: HOUSTON WIC PROGRAM PROJECT #26!

May 11, 2020

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This week’s CHEER Champion is the Houston Health Department Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program! This department consists of 165 members who provide supplemental foods, nutrition education and breastfeeding support to women, infants and children up to the age of five. They were nominated for their creative use of videos to promote and improve breastfeeding […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: CAPTAIN EMILY SANCHEZ!

May 4, 2020

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Congratulations to CHEER Champion of the Week, Emily Sanchez, MS, Clinical Dietitian, and U.S Army Captain, who currently serves as the Chief of the Community & Outpatient Nutrition Branch, Brooke Army Medical Center, Houston TX. Emily was nominated for her breastfeeding work and contributions to managing the nutritional needs of patients during the current COVID-19 […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: LISA SPRING!

Apr 27, 2020

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Our CHEER Champion this week is Lisa Spring, RN, Certified in Inpatient Obstetrics, and OB Charge Nurse at King’s Daughters Medical Center (KDMC). She was nominated for being an amazing supporter of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative at her facility. “I enjoy working on the unit because it is very family oriented and community supported. The […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: YILDIZ GUMUSTEKIN

Apr 20, 2020

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This week’s CHEER Champion of the week is Yildiz Gumustekin. Yildiz works as a Protection Assistant for the Danish Refugee Council’s Greek Protection Monitoring Team in Skaramagas refugee camp, and volunteers for CHEER in Greece (CHEERing). With a Bachelor of Social Work, and an expertise in Psychosocial Support and Conflict Transformation, Yildiz supports the implementation of […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: DR. RICCARDO DAVANZO!

Apr 13, 2020

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​The recipient of the CHEER 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award is Riccardo Davanzo, MD, PhD. He is a neonatologist from Trieste in Italy, who has performed outstanding service for breastfeeding throughout his long career. Dr. Davanzo is a well-published researcher, physician, teacher, and the Chair of the Task Force on Breastfeeding of the Italian Ministry of […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: NMMC GILMORE-AMORY!

Apr 6, 2020

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Congratulations to North Mississippi Medical Center (NMMC) Gilmore-Amory on becoming Baby-Friendly designated on March 12, 2020! Located in Amory, MS this facility has 582 births per year and operates a level III NICU. They began their Baby-Friendly journey in April 2016 and enrolled as a CHAMPS Hospital in February 2018. “It feels awesome to be […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: JENNIFER CALDWELL!

Mar 30, 2020

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Our CHEER Champion of the Week is Jennifer Caldwell, MSN, FNP-c, Director of Nursing (DON), Women and Children’s Services at NMMC Tupelo. She was nominated for being an amazing supporter of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) and showing amazing leadership and tenacity in her role as Task Force Lead. “As a bedside labor and delivery […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: NORTH MISSISSIPPI MEDICAL CENTER – WOMEN’S HOSPITAL, TUPELO

Mar 23, 2020

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Congratulations to North Mississippi Medical Center (NMMC)-Women’s Hospital, in Tupelo, Mississippi on their Baby-Friendly designation. The hospital achieved designation on March 2, 2020 after progressing through the Baby-Friendly Pathway for 4 years. NMMC Tupelo delivers about 1980 babies per year and manages a level III NICU. “Being designated Baby Friendly feels like we are truly validated […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: CALVIN L. WILLIAMS!

Mar 16, 2020

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Today’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Calvin L. Williams, CLC, and President of Lucian Families. Calvin has worked in the fatherhood field for the past 20 years. 5 years ago, he founded Lucian Families, an organization dedicated to supporting parents and families in achieving healthier and more successful relationships. He was nominated for his long […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: ALICE CHANEY HERNDON!

Mar 2, 2020

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This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Alice Chaney Herndon, MSN, RNC-NIC, and Nurse Manager of the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Mother-Baby Unit and WIC/Lactation Services. She was nominated for her consistent leadership in helping the UMMC team to achieve and maintain Baby-Friendly practices. Having worked at the facility for over 14 years, she […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: CHAUNTEL NORRIS!

Feb 24, 2020

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Chauntel Norris is a DONA trained Labor and Post-Partum Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, and LaMaze Trained Childbirth Educator. She currently serves as the Mother’s Milk Initiative Coordinator, Doula, and Group Facilitator for the Alabama Prison Birth Project, a program that seeks to improve the health of newborns birthed by women in custody while strengthening maternal bonds […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: DR. JULIE WARE!

Feb 10, 2020

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This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Julie Ware, MD MPH, IBCLC, an experienced board-certified pediatrician who specializes in breastfeeding medicine. Dr. Ware was nominated for her long work in the breastfeeding field, for her recent paper on the associations between breastfeeding initiation and infant mortality, and also for doing the CHAMPS Wednesday Webinar […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: NORTON SOUND REGIONAL HOSPITAL!

Feb 3, 2020

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Congratulations to AI/AN CHAMPS Hospital, Norton Sound Regional Hospital, on their Baby-Friendly designation. They received designation on December 13, 2019, four years after they joined the pathway. Norton Sound, located in Nome, Alaska, is a small facility with about 800-100 births per year. “Being Baby-Friendly feels like a huge accomplishment!” expressed Carol Hobbs, CLC, and Health […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: SOUTHWEST MISSISSIPPI REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER!

Jan 27, 2020

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Congratulations to Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center (SMRMC) on their Baby-Friendly designation! This accomplishment was announced on December 12, 2019, approximately 3 years after they joined the pathway to designation in 2016. Located in McComb MS, SMRMC oversees a Level II NICU and about 813 births per year. “To be Baby-Friendly is extremely rewarding!  Labor […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: METHODIST OLIVE BRANCH HOSPITAL!

Jan 13, 2020

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​Congratulations to Methodist Olive Branch Hospital in Olive Branch, MS for becoming Baby-Friendly designated on December 12, 2019! Olive Branch has a level II NICU and approximately 650 deliveries per year. “Becoming a Baby-Friendly Hospital is such a huge accomplishment for our facility! Given the many challenges with our small labor pool and the gravity of this […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: DORIE WALSH!

Jan 6, 2020

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This Week’s Champion is Dorie Walsh, BSN, RN-MNN. In her role as Transition Nurse for University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), Dorie assumes the care of infants at mother’s bedside within the first 30 minutes of life. She was nominated because of her incredible passion for teaching mothers and helping them to facilitate successful skin […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: MISSISSIPPI BAPTIST MEDICAL CENTER!

Dec 23, 2019

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Congratulations to Mississippi Baptist Medical Center (MBMC) on becoming officially Baby-Friendly designated on December 6, 2019. MBMC accounts for about 1774 births annually and operates a level III NICU. “We are so excited to be the recipient of such a prestigious award. Our staff are quality driven and this is a true testament to their commitment to […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: MERIT HEALTH BILOXI!

Dec 16, 2019

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Congratulations to our Hospital of the Week, Merit Health Biloxi, on becoming Baby-Friendly designated as of November 27th, 2019. Merit Biloxi is a 153 bed, acute care hospital, which conducts approximately 888 births per year and operates a level 2 NICU. They began their Baby-Friendly journey in 2016 and are delighted to be the first Baby-Friendly […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: CHRISTINE POWELL!

Dec 9, 2019

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This week’s CHEER Champion is Christine Powell, AA, CLC, and Peer Counselor at the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH), where she has worked on and off, since 1996, for a total of 11 years. She was nominated for her long-standing service to mothers in Greenwood, MS and her contributions during the last CHAMPS site […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: HIGHLAND COMMUNITY HOSPITAL!

Dec 2, 2019

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Congratulations to CHAMPS Hospital, Highland Community Hospital, on their recent Baby-Friendly designation! Located in Picayune Mississippi, Highland is part of the Forrest General Health System. The facility houses a Family Birth Center that provides family-centered childbirth experiences for women and families in Pearl River County. “We are so thrilled to have accomplished the designation of […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: BABY CAFÉ USA!

Nov 25, 2019

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Congratulations to CHEER Champion of the Week, Baby Café USA (BCUSA), an organization that is known for its commitment to promoting and supporting the provision of free, high-quality lactation care to breastfeeding mothers across the U.S! “Our mission is to promote and support the development of community-based, drop-in breastfeeding support sites offering on-going, high-quality, free-of-charge lactation care […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: JACKIE BERGER!

Nov 18, 2019

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This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Jackie Berger, MS, a CHEER Consultant and Project Manager for the Rocky Boy’s Community Health Assessment (CHA) Project. She was nominated for her outstanding work, collaboration, and leadership on the recently completed CHA. “My favorite part of the CHA was tracking down community data” Jackie says. “It […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: BREANNA PENNINGTON!

Nov 11, 2019

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Breanna Pennington, CLC, BD, is a doula who works full time as a Community Care Coordinator at Tougaloo Delta Health partners/United Health Care Greenville MS, a home visiting program for pregnant women. She was nominated for her contributions as a volunteer for the Delta Baby Café in Greenville. “I started going to the Delta Baby […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: EAST MISSISSIPPI BREASTFEEDING COALITION!

Nov 4, 2019

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This week, we would like to recognize the East Mississippi Breastfeeding Coalition (EMSBFC), an organization that strives to promote awareness and correct misconceptions around breastfeeding in Golden Triangle and surrounding counties. Established in 2017, “EMSBFC’s mission is the advancement of breastfeeding as the cultural norm and advocacy in the communities we serve,” shares Christina Chunn, […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: TANEFER L. CAMARA!

Oct 28, 2019

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Our CHEER Champion of the Week is T’amentanefer (TaNefer) Lumukanda Camara, BS, MS-HCA, IBCLC, and Certified Doula. TaNefer is a maternal health strategist, healer, and lactation/breastfeeding expert with 13 years’ experience as a doula, lactation consultant, and infant feeding specialist. She currently works as a Lactation Consultant at a safety net Baby Friendly Hospital in […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: JUDY ELLZEY!

Oct 21, 2019

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This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Judy Ellzey, CLC, Peer Counselor 3 and Special Projects Officer 1 with the Mississippi State Department of Health’s (MSDH) WIC Breastfeeding Program. She was nominated by a past supervisor, Shellie Evans, AA, BS, CLC, for 23 years of compassionate and dedicated service to the MSDH WIC Breastfeeding […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: BECCA YOUNG!

Oct 14, 2019

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This week’s Champion is Becca Young, medical student at Oxford University and CHEERing volunteer. Becca was nominated for her hard work and dedication while she volunteered with CHEERing in Athens last August. Being a medical student with a keen interest in international aid work, Becca decided to travel to Greece and make a direct impact. […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: DR. PAULA K. SCHRECK!

Oct 7, 2019

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Our CHEER Champion of the Week is Paula Schreck, MD, IBCLC, FABM and Medical Director, Breastfeeding Support Services, Ascension St. John’s Hospital in Michigan. Dr. Schreck was nominated for her accomplishments in getting Detroit hospitals baby-friendly designated and founding the Ascension St. John Outpatient Breastfeeding Clinic. “My earlier exposures to BFHI got me hooked on […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: ELISE!

Sep 30, 2019

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This week’s Champion of the week is a special young woman living in Athens, Greece. “Elise” (her name has been changed to protect her confidentiality) is a refugee living in an Athens shelter, with her husband and baby. The family sought refuge in Greece to escape the ongoing war in their African homeland. Elise has […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: ANDERSON REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER!

Sep 23, 2019

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Congratulations to Anderson Regional Medical Center in Meridian, Mississippi, for becoming the 13th hospital in Mississippi to attain Baby-Friendly Designation on September 11, 2019. Anderson has approximately 1200 births per year with a level III NICU. They began their Baby-Friendly journey in 2015, and they are happy to have become one of the 580 designated […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: MERIT HEALTH MADISON!

Sep 16, 2019

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Congratulations to CHAMPS Hospital Merit Health Madison in Canton, Mississippi, for becoming Baby-Friendly on September 4, 2019! Merit Health Madison Hospital is a 35,000 square foot facility with a maternity department that has approximately 300 births per year. Merit Madison began their Baby-Friendly journey in 2016. “It feels wonderful to have achieved the designation of Baby […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: LACEY GRIFFITH!

Sep 9, 2019

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​Our CHEER CHAMPion of the Week is Lacey Griffith, RN, and Director of Women’s Services at Merit Health River Region. She was nominated for her pivotal role in the CHAMPS hospital’s progress towards designation. ​ “The best part of the job is that special “Ah-ah” moment when all the education makes sense to the moms, […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: ON VACATION

Aug 5, 2019

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The CHEER Champion of the Week blog will be on vacation for the month of August. The next post will appear after Labor Day, on September 9th. See you then!

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: MAJOR KIMBERLY ROSENBAUM!

Jul 29, 2019

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Major Kimberly (“Kim”) Rosenbaum, MSN, RNC-OB, IBCLC, was CHEER Champion of the Week in 2016 for creating a unique patient education checklist at CHAMPS hospital William Beaumont Army Medical Center. This checklist ensured consistency and efficiency in meeting Baby-Friendly education requirements within 36 hours of birth, and served as the basis for the one CHAMPS uses with […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: GREENWOOD LEFLORE HOSPITAL’S BABY-FRIENDLY TEAM!

Jul 22, 2019

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This week, CHAMPS would like to recognize the wonderful work the Greenwood Leflore Hospital (GLH) Baby-Friendly Team has been doing. GLH, in Greenwood, Mississippi, has approximately 435 births per year. They joined CHAMPS in 2015 and started their Baby-Friendly journey in 2017. Like all Baby-Friendly journeys, the journey at GLH has had its challenges, but […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: LINDA JACKSON!

Jul 15, 2019

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This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Linda Jackson, BS, Peer Counselor II for Mississippi State Department of Health’s (MSDH) WIC Breastfeeding Program. She was nominated by her supervisor, Andrea Borda, SB, CLC, for her 20 years of outstanding service to the MSDH WIC Breastfeeding Program! Linda began as a Peer Counselor working from home […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: JENNY ZORN!

Jul 8, 2019

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Jenny Zorn, CLC, is a Peer Counselor 3 at Mississippi State Department of Health’s (MSDH) WIC Breastfeeding Program. She has worked at MSDH’s WIC Breastfeeding Program for over 10 years, and has been a Peer Counselor 1, 2 & 3. She was nominated as CHEER Champion of the Week by her supervisor, Andrea Borda, SB, CLC, […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: DALVERY BLACKWELL!

Jun 24, 2019

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This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Dalvery Blackwell, BA, IBCLC, Executive Director and Co-Founder of African American Breastfeeding Network, Inc. (AABN). She was nominated by Erica Morrell, PhD, for being a “dedicated and passionate community leader who meets families where they are at, to transform neighborhoods from within.” Founded in 2008, AABN has been […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: REBA LEE!

Jun 17, 2019

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Reba Lee, RN, IBCLC, RLC, is a Lactation Nurse and the Lactation Team Lead at CHAMPS hospital, Anderson Regional Medical Center in Meridian, Mississippi. She was nominated as CHEER Champion of the Week for her many years of dedicated service to mothers and babies, and for her help with the Baby-Friendly journey at her hospital. […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: ALASKA NATIVE MEDICAL CENTER!

Jun 10, 2019

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Congratulations to Alaska Native Medical Center (ANMC) in Anchorage, Alaska, for becoming Baby-Friendly designated on May 22, 2019! ANMC was part of the American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) CHAMPS program from 2015 until the end of the AI/AN CHAMPS grant in 2018. It is the largest tribal hospital in Alaska and serves as a tertiary care […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: ELNA MATERNITY CENTER!

Jun 3, 2019

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The Elna Maternity Center, which shelters pregnant women and families with infants and children in central Athens, Greece, is today’s CHEER Champion of the Week! Elna became an independent non-profit on May 1st, 2019, but had already been housing refugees for a year in their current location, which is down the street from the CHEERing […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: SOUTH MISSISSIPPI BREASTFEEDING COALITION!

May 20, 2019

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CHAMPS is excited to honor the South Mississippi Breastfeeding Coalition (SMBFC), a relatively new group that is doing a great job supporting and promoting breastfeeding on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast! “Our coalition’s mission is to promote and protect breastfeeding by providing support, advocacy, and resources for a healthier South Mississippi community,” shares Amanda Sterling, RN, BSN, IBCLC, founding President […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: BLUE CROSS & BLUE SHIELD OF MISSISSIPPI

May 13, 2019

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This week the CHEER’s CHAMPion of the week is Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi (BCBSMS). BCBSMS has been nominated as CHAMPions for their proactive and enduring commitment to improving maternal and infant health in Mississippi through their Maternity Quality Model, and for their ongoing collaborative role with CHAMPS to establish the Baby-Friendly Hospital […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: NIKOS VARAKIS!

May 6, 2019

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This week’s CHEER Champion of the week is Nikos Varakis, MD, IBCLC, a pediatrician in private practice in Rethymnon on the southern Greek island of Crete, where he has worked since 2004. Nikos became an IBCLC in 2011. He is a founding member of the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) Greece, and was elected […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: KIRSTEN KRANE!

Apr 29, 2019

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This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Kirsten Krane, MS-MPH, RDN, Project Manager for CHEER. Kirsten started working for CHEER in 2014 and has done an excellent job managing a wide variety of projects. Sadly, Kirsten will be ending her work with us on May 3, 2019. We’d like to honor and thank her […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: IRENE PAPHITI!

Apr 22, 2019

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Irene Paphiti, MD, IBCLC is President of the Cyprus Breastfeeding Association, ”Gift for Life,” of which she was a founding member in 2009. In this role, she represents the Association on the Cyprus Breastfeeding National Committee. Irene has been a pediatrician in private practice for 14 years, and uses her position to advocate for breastfeeding […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: MILLY BARRIOS!

Apr 15, 2019

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Congratulations to CHEER Champion of the Week, Millicent (“Milly”) Barrios, CLC, Peer Counselor 3 for the Mississippi WIC Program (MS WIC) in the Southern Region/Mississippi Coast. Milly was nominated as CHEER Champion of the Week for her wonderful work with moms and babies on the Gulf Coast, and for her helpful contributions to a recent […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: SHAISTA KARIMI!

Apr 8, 2019

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This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is CHEER International’s interpreter and peer breastfeeding counselor, Shaista Karimi, who works with the CHEER team in Athens, Greece. Shaista is originally from Afghanistan, and is a trained physiotherapist. She arrived in Greece nearly three years ago with her husband and four children, after trekking over the mountains through […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: AMANDA STERLING!

Mar 25, 2019

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​Amanda Sterling, RN, BSN, IBCLC is a Lactation Consultant and CHAMPS Team Leader at CHAMPS hospital Merit Health Biloxi in Biloxi, Mississippi. She was nominated as CHEER Champion of the Week for all her hard work and the excellent job she is doing leading the Baby-Friendly journey at Merit Health Biloxi! “I truly believe that […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: PAIGE BELIVEAU & CARA SAFON!

Mar 18, 2019

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This week’s CHEER Champions of the Week are two of our newest team members: Paige Beliveau, MA, Research Assistant, and Cara Safon, MPH, Research Project Manager. Paige joined CHEER in June 2018 and Cara in October 2018. CHEER is thrilled to have hired Paige and Cara, who are doing fantastic work for us and advancing […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: BAPTIST MEMORIAL HOSPITAL – UNION COUNTY!

Mar 11, 2019

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Congratulations to CHAMPS hospital, Baptist Memorial Hospital – Union County (BMH-UC), for becoming Baby-Friendly designated on February 19, 2019! BMH-UC has approximately 950-1,000 births per year and a level II NICU. They offer free childbirth and breastfeeding classes once a month and free follow-up lactation support as needed. There are now 11 Baby-Friendly facilities in […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: KING’S DAUGHTERS MEDICAL CENTER!

Mar 4, 2019

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​Congratulations to CHAMPS hospital, King’s Daughters Medical Center (KDMC) in Brookhaven, Mississippi, for becoming Baby-Friendly designated on February 11, 2019! KDMC has approximately 730 births per year and a level 2B Stabilization Nursery and Neonatal Observation Unit. They have an innovative childbirth education program called “Mommy University,” which features exclusive 1 on 1 education with […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: NOEL MARTIN!

Feb 25, 2019

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This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Noel Martin, RN, CLC, Nursery/Labor & Delivery Nurse, and CHAMPS Nursing Team Leader at CHAMPS hospital Singing River Hospital in Pascagoula, Mississippi. She was nominated for her wonderful contributions to the Baby-Friendly journey at Singing River and for her presentation on a Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle on skin-to-skin […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: TINA FRITZ!

Feb 11, 2019

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Tina Fritz, RN, BSN, IBCLC, is Neonatal Nurse and CHAMPS Team Leader at CHAMPS Hospital Singing River Hospital in Pascagoula, Mississippi. She was nominated as CHEER Champion of the Week for the incredible job she is doing as CHAMPS Team Leader! “My greatest joy is attending a delivery as a neonatal nurse and adapting all […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: PANAYIOULA MEXI BOURNA!

Feb 4, 2019

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This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Panayioula (“Yioula”) Mexi Bourna, IBCLC, MD, President of the Galaxias Association of International Certified Breastfeeding Consultants; member of the Breastfeeding Commission in the Greek Ministry of Health; Pediatrician; Neonatologist; and the Director of the neonatal unit at the University General Hospital Attikon in Athens, Greece. Yioula was […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: MERIT HEALTH WESLEY!

Jan 28, 2019

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Congratulations to CHAMPS Hospital Merit Health Wesley in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, for becoming Baby-Friendly designated on December 4, 2018! Merit Health Wesley, with approximately 1,100 births per year and a level III NICU, is the third Merit Health hospital in Mississippi to become Baby-Friendly. “It was a very exciting day for us when we received that […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: SHAVONDA QUINN!

Jan 21, 2019

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This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Shavonda Quinn, MSc, Peer Counselor 2 for the Mississippi Department of Health’s WIC program. Shavonda serves 3 counties, Clay, Chickasaw, and Webster. She was nominated for her wonderful participation at a recent CHAMPS site visit at North Mississippi Medical Center (NMMC)-West Point and for her new role at […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: CAMIE GOLDHAMMER, KIMBERLY MOORE-SALAS, & ANDREA SERANO!

Jan 14, 2019

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This week’s CHEER Champions of the Week are Camie Goldhammer, LICSW, MSW, IBCLC, Kimberly (“Kim”) Moore-Salas, IBCLC, and Andrea Serano, CLC, IBCLC. These ladies, who have all worked for the CHEER team, were recently elected as Board Directors to the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC)! USBC “is an independent nonprofit coalition of more than 50 nationally […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: SEARHC MT. EDGECUMBE HOSPITAL!

Jan 7, 2019

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Congratulations to SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka, Alaska, the first Native hospital in Alaska to become Baby-Friendly designated! SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe was part of our American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) CHAMPS program from 2015-2018. The hospital is part of the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, a Native nonprofit health consortium that provides high-quality healthcare services […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: KIMARIE BUGG!

Dec 17, 2018

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CHEER is thrilled to announce the recipient of our 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award: Kimarie Bugg, DNP, RN, MPH, IBCLC, CLC, for her long-standing dedication to breastfeeding and maternal child health equity! Kimarie is the Co-Founder, President/CEO, and Change Leader for Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere (ROSE), a nonprofit developed in 2011 to address breastfeeding inequities in the African-American […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: YURI KITAYAMA, NORIKO HIWATASHI, & SANAE IWAKAMI!

Dec 10, 2018

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This week’s CHEER Champions of the Week are Yuri Kitayama, Noriko Hiwatashi, and Sanae Iwakami, 3 Japanese professional interpreters who provided simultaneous translation at the recent International Society for Research into Human Milk and Lactation (ISRHML) conference at Shonan Village in Kanagawa, Japan. CHEER Director Anne Merewood nominated them for their energy and patience simultaneously translating their way […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: TALITA RUBLE!

Dec 3, 2018

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This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Talita Ruble, a mother who persevered in breastfeeding her adopted son, Ronin! Talita’s story is truly remarkable and a testament to a mother’s determination and the support of her community, including CHAMPS hospital King’s Daughters Medical Center (KDMC) in Brookhaven, Mississippi. In January 2018, Talita and her […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: LOU ANN WALL!

Nov 26, 2018

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This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Lou Ann Wall, RN, IBCLC, Lactation Nurse at CHAMPS hospital King’s Daughters Medical Center (KDMC) in Brookhaven, Mississippi. Lou Ann was nominated for the incredible breastfeeding support she does at KDMC and the Circle of Moms Baby Café Cluster. “What I love most about my job is […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: ST. TAMMANY PARISH HOSPITAL!

Nov 19, 2018

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Congratulations to St. Tammany Parish Hospital (STPH) in Covington, Louisiana, for becoming Baby-Friendly designated on October 25, 2018! STPH was part of the first wave of the CHAMPS South program, from 2015 to 2017. They performed 1,875 births in 2017 and have a level III NICU. “It is a great pleasure and relief to know […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: MERIT HEALTH RIVER OAKS!

Nov 12, 2018

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Congratulations to CHEER Hospital of the Week, Merit Health River Oaks in Flowood, Mississippi, for becoming Baby-Friendly designated on October 26, 2018! Merit Health River Oaks started their Baby-Friendly journey in 2015 and joined CHAMPS in 2017. They are known in their community as being a family-centered facility that welcomes natural births and has the […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: MELODY SHARP!

Nov 5, 2018

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​This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Melody Sharp, BA, Owner of Living Foods Wellness Café in Oxford, Mississippi. Melody was nominated as CHEER Champion of the Week for her determination to exclusively breastfeed all 3 of her children despite significant challenges she has faced! Melody is the daughter of Cathy Carothers, BLA, IBCLC, FILCA, CHAMPS […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: BERTIE BROWN!

Oct 29, 2018

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This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Bertha (“Bertie”) Brown (Northern Arapaho/Northern Cheyenne), part-time co-facilitator at the Dragonfly Project and Indigenous Researcher with the CWard Evaluation/Assessment Team. In the past, Bertie also worked for CHEER as the Onsite Consultant for the Northern Cheyenne Community Health Assessment (CHA). Bertie was nominated for the incredible work she […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: MERIT HEALTH WOMAN’S HOSPITAL!

Oct 22, 2018

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Congratulations to CHAMPS hospital Merit Health Woman’s Hospital in Flowood, Mississippi, for becoming Baby-Friendly designated on September 28, 2018! Merit Health Woman’s is part of Community Health Systems’ Merit Health hospital system (MHHS). MHHS has 8 birthing facilities, which are all a part of CHAMPS and have been supporting each other on the Baby-Friendly pathway. Merit Health […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: SHELLIE EVANS!

Oct 15, 2018

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Shellie Evans, AA, BS, CLC, is the WIC Breastfeeding Program Region 3 Coordinator, the Lead Facilitator for Circle of Moms Baby Café Cluster, and Secretary for the Mississippi Breastfeeding Coalition. She was nominated as CHEER Champion of the Week for her outstanding work to promote breastfeeding and for her collaboration with several CHAMPS hospitals! “My […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: BRIANA WILLIAMS!

Oct 8, 2018

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​Congratulations to Briana Williams on the birth of her second daughter, Scarlett, and on her perseverance in pumping and breastfeeding despite a difficult birth and hospital experience! Despite early problems, Briana overcame all odds to feed Scarlett exclusive breast milk. Briana and her husband, Byron, have been guest speakers at our Mississippi CHAMPS conferences, and Byron […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: OCHSNER MEDICAL CENTER – KENNER!

Sep 24, 2018

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Congratulations to Ochsner Medical Center – Kenner in Kenner, Louisiana for becoming Baby-Friendly designated on August 28, 2018! Ochsner Kenner was part of the first wave of the CHAMPS South program from 2014-2017. It is one of many hospitals in the New Orleans area that are now Baby-Friendly, a culture change that is truly remarkable! […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: OCHSNER MEDICAL CENTER WEST BANK!

Sep 17, 2018

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​Congratulations to Ochsner Medical Center West Bank in Gretna, Louisiana, for becoming Baby-Friendly designated on September 6, 2018! Ochsner Medical Center West Bank was part of the first wave of the CHAMPS South program during 2014-2017. It is one of 4 Ochsner CHAMPS hospitals near New Orleans, all which are now Baby-Friendly! Ochsner’s West Bank […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: BAPTIST MEMORIAL HOSPITAL-NORTH MISSISSIPPI!

Sep 10, 2018

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Congratulations to CHAMPS hospital Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi (BMH-NM) in Oxford, on becoming Baby-Friendly designated on August 23, 2018! Becoming Baby-Friendly designated is a huge accomplishment and the result of many years of hard work. BMH-NM joined CHAMPS in August 2015 and officially began their Baby-Friendly journey in September 2015. They were the first hospital in […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: JOHN MICKA!

Jul 30, 2018

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This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is John Micka, RD, Nutritionist Senior for the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH). He has worked for MSDH for 19 years with both the WIC program and the PHRM (Perinatal High Risk Management) program. In recent years, his focus has been on WIC. He was nominated for […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: TOURO INFIRMARY!

Jul 23, 2018

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Congratulations to Touro Infirmary in New Orleans, Louisiana, for achieving Baby-Friendly designation on July 12, 2018! Touro was part of the first wave of the CHAMPS South program, during 2014-2017. It is a large, academic and private practice, level III obstetric facility with a level III NICU, and it performs approximately 3,300 deliveries annually. It […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: KATE MITCHELL!

Jul 16, 2018

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This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Kate Mitchell, CNM, a Midwife at Indian Health Service’s Blackfeet Community Hospital (BCH) in Browning, Montana. She was nominated for the great work she is doing as a midwife and in improving substance use screening and referrals for the patients at BCH. “I LOVE being a midwife […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: WESLEY BUGG!

Jul 9, 2018

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​This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is G. Wesley Bugg, Esq., LLM, Operations Officer for Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere (ROSE) and Deputy Director for Reaching Our Brothers Everywhere (ROBE). Wesley is doing great work with both ROSE and ROBE, a program of ROSE dedicated to educating, equipping and empowering men on a national scale to positively impact […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: MERIT HEALTH RIVER REGION!

Jun 25, 2018

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Congratulations to CHAMPS hospital Merit Health River Region in Vicksburg, Mississippi, for becoming a milk depot for the Mothers’ Milk Bank of Mississippi! The hospital and milk bank celebrated the depot’s opening with a festive ribbon-cutting event at Merit Health River Region on June 20, 2018. The event was a success and well attended by […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: SAINT FRANCIS HOSPITAL-BARTLETT!

Jun 18, 2018

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Congratulations to Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett in Bartlett, Tennessee, for becoming Baby-Friendly designated on June 5, 2018! Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett was part of the first wave of the CHAMPS South program, during 2015 to 2017. It is a smaller hospital with approximately 450 births per year and a level II neonatal intensive care unit. “It feels […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: MAYOR TOBY BARKER!

Jun 11, 2018

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Congratulations to Mayor Toby Barker, MS, EMHL, Mayor of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, for his leadership in establishing mothering rooms in Hattiesburg’s city facilities! These mothering rooms will allow staff members and citizens to have a private, quiet place to nurse or pump. They will include access to electricity, a comfortable chair and be child-friendly. If feasible […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: MIKE GEBOE!

Jun 4, 2018

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This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week, Mike Geboe, MA, LAC, MAC, SAP, has been working for CHEER as a Consultant for the past year. Based in Montana, Mike has done an excellent job working in the areas of breastfeeding promotion, drug & alcohol prevention, and Native wellness. He is half Chippewa Cree and half […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: PASTOR JOEL TOPPEN!

May 21, 2018

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This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Pastor Joel Toppen, Lead Pastor at Four Winds Assembly of God Church in Browning, Montana and Spiritual Advisor for the Silent Warriors Coalition, a group of community members dedicated to fighting drug and alcohol abuse in Blackfeet Nation. Pastor Joel is also a member of the Opioid […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: BROCADE STOPS BLACK EAGLE!

May 14, 2018

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​Brocade Stops Black Eagle is this week’s CHEER Champion of the Week. Brocade (Crow-Mandan-Hidasta) is an RN at the Indian Health Service (IHS) Crow/Northern Cheyenne hospital on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana and Project Leader on IHS’ Healthy Mothers, Healthy Tribe initiative in that area. CHEER is the Billings Area contractor on this initiative, […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: BRITTANY BUTLER!

May 7, 2018

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This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Brittany Butler, CLC, WIC Peer Counselor-3 for the Mississippi Department of Health. Brittany was nominated for doing a great job supporting women with breastfeeding within and outside of WIC, and for meeting her personal breastfeeding goal of 2 years! “My favorite part of my job is seeing […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: JADE-HEATHER LEPOTOKISI!

Apr 30, 2018

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This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Jade-Heather Lepotokisi, who is doing an awesome job as dual coordinator for Blackfeet Tribe’s Methamphetamine & Suicide Prevention Initiative (MSPI) and Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative (DVPI)! Jade-Heather is a Blackfeet descendant and an enrolled member of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes. CHEER provides technical assistance […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: WINDY BURD & LYNETTE RAINING BIRD!

Apr 23, 2018

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​This week’s CHEER Champions of the Week are Windy Burd and Lynette Raining Bird, members of the Blackfeet Tribe and the local Blackfeet grassroots group, the Silent Warriors Coalition. Silent Warriors is comprised of community members who are working hard to expose addiction, educate youth, and support people on their recovery journeys. They are dedicated to […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: NATHAN NICKEL!

Apr 16, 2018

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Congratulations to our very own Nathan Nickel, PhD, MPH, CHEER Data Consultant, for winning the prestigious University of Manitoba Falconer Emerging Researcher Rh Award for Outstanding Contributions to Scholarship and Research in the Health Sciences category! The University of Manitoba officially announced this award on April 10, 2018. The award honors Nathan’s excellent research contributions […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: ZAATAR’S ORANGE HOUSE!

Apr 9, 2018

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This week’s CHEER Champion is an organization dedicated to equity at all levels. Orange House is a shelter in Athens, Greece for up to 20 refugees, and a day center for many more. Around 200 refugees a day visit Orange House to learn English, Greek, French, German, French, music, yoga and dance. Orange House provides […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: THE MOTHERS’ MILK BANK OF LOUISIANA AT OCHSNER BAPTIST!

Mar 26, 2018

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Congratulations to the Mothers’ Milk Bank of Louisiana at Ochsner Baptist for opening the first human milk bank in the state of Louisiana! Louisiana is now the 22nd state in the United States to have a Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA)-accredited human milk bank. The milk bank, which opened in March 2018, operates out of […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: SOUTH SUNFLOWER COUNTY HOSPITAL!

Mar 19, 2018

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Congratulations to CHAMPS hospital South Sunflower County Hospital in Indianola, Mississippi, for becoming Baby-Friendly designated on March 8, 2018! South Sunflower is a smaller hospital with around 250-300 births per year. They have been part of CHAMPS since fall 2014, and began their Baby-Friendly journey in fall 2015. Betsy Dawson, FNP-C, CHAMPS Team Lead and […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: MERIT HEALTH HOSPITAL SYSTEM!

Mar 12, 2018

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This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Merit Health hospital system (MHHS), for their outstanding progress towards seeking Baby-Friendly designation for their 8 birthing facilities in Mississippi! Each of these CHAMPS facilities is doing excellent work incorporating Baby-Friendly changes and supporting each other along the way. They are a wonderful example of what an […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: THE SILENT WARRIORS COALITION!

Mar 5, 2018

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This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is the Silent Warriors Coalition, a group of community members dedicated to fighting drug and alcohol abuse in Blackfeet Nation and creating resources for these addictions and their ensuing problems of suicide, abuse (domestic, elder, sexual, child), and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). They were nominated as CHEER Champion […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: THE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL OF SAN ANTONIO!

Feb 26, 2018

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Congratulations to The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas, for achieving Baby-Friendly designation on February 6, 2018! The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio was part of the first wave of the CHAMPS South program during 2015-2017, along with 2 other CHRISTUS Health hospitals in Texas. There are now 3 Baby-Friendly CHRISTUS Health […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: MAUDICELLA RODRIGUEZ!

Feb 19, 2018

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Congratulations to Maudicella Rodriguez, the 1st place winner of CHEER’s “Benefits of Breastfeeding for Child, Mother, Community and Future of Chippewa Cree People” Essay Contest! The essay contest was open to Box Elder High School and Rocky Boy High School students from grades 6-12. Maudicella is a member of the Chippewa Cree Tribe and a […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: BENETA BURT!

Feb 12, 2018

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​Congratulations to Beneta Burt, MPPA, Executive Director of Mississippi Roadmap to Health Equity, Inc., for her inspiring leadership in making Jackson, Mississippi a healthier place! A one-stop facility for wellness, Mississippi Roadmap offers a wide array of services, including a free fitness center, a community garden, healthy cooking classes, computer and job search training, a mobile […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: THE BLACKFEET DIABETES PREVENTION PROGRAM!

Feb 5, 2018

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​Congratulations to the Blackfeet Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), for launching the first Diabetes Prevention Program in Blackfeet Nation! The Blackfeet DPP, housed at the Southern Peigan Health Center in Browning, Montana, is an evidenced-based program to help people with prediabetes prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. The program focuses on lifestyle changes such as […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: A TRIBUTE TO DR. ALFIO RAUSA, 1936-2018

Jan 29, 2018

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Dr. Alfio Rausa, M.D., a public health hero who worked valiantly for half a century to improve the health of Mississippians, passed away at home after several months of illness on January 3, 2018. Dr. Rausa leaves a legacy of dedication to countless public health and community efforts, including his work at the Mississippi State […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: SUZANNE HAYNES!

Jan 21, 2018

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This week’s Champion is particularly special to us at CHEER. Dr. Suzanne Haynes, PhD, who retired from her position as Senior Science Advisor to the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office on Women’s Health (OWH) at the end of December 2017, is a stalwart pioneer and advocate of women’s health and […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: EMILY DOTSON!

Jan 15, 2018

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Emily Dotson, B.A., Administrative Assistant with Executive Staff Support for Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi (BCBSMS), provides assistance to the Medical Director and the Director of Prescription Drug Management. She recently did an excellent job planning and coordinating the Mississippi CHAMPS Team Meeting and Conference held on September 27 and 28, 2017 on […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: DANA PEMBERTON!

Jan 8, 2018

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This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Dana Pemberton, Personnel Director of the Blackfeet Tribe and member of the Blackfeet Breastfeeding Coalition. Dana recently led the effort to open the first breastfeeding room for employees at the Blackfeet Tribal Offices! Read More

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: CAMIE JAE GOLDHAMMER!

Dec 18, 2017

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Camie Jae Goldhammer, LICSW, MSW, IBCLC (Sisseton-Wahpeton) is a rising star in the field of lactation! Through various unexpected turns, she has allowed her career to beautifully unfold into a unique blend of social worker, lactation consultant, and breastfeeding advocate. Camie is the Founder and Chair of the Native American Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington; one of […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: RYAN KELLY, JEFFREY MCLAURIN, EDWARD THOMAS, & BYRON WILLIAMS!

Dec 4, 2017

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This week’s CHEER Champions of the Week are the gentlemen who spoke on the “Dads of Breastfed Babies” Panel at our September 28, 2017 Mississippi CHAMPS Conference in Jackson, MS. These dads stole the show by providing candid, humorous, and touching responses to ROSE moderator Tenesha Sellers’ questions. There were many laughs and even tears […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: ELSIE J. JOE!

Nov 27, 2017

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Elsie J. Joe, MPA is a Health System Specialist and Area Project Officer for the Methamphetamine/Suicide Prevention Initiative (MSPI) and the Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative (DVPI) through the Indian Health Service (IHS) Department of Behavioral Health for the Navajo Area. She recently moved to New Mexico from Montana, where she held the same position for […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: OCHSNER BAPTIST!

Nov 20, 2017

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Congratulations to Ochsner Baptist in New Orleans, Louisiana for achieving Baby-Friendly designation on October 31, 2017! Ochsner Baptist was part of the first wave of the CHAMPS South program during 2014-2017, along with several other Ochsner Health System hospitals in Louisiana. There are now 3 Baby-Friendly Ochsner hospitals in Louisiana with more on the way! […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: FORREST GENERAL HOSPITAL AND UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI!

Nov 13, 2017

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This week’s CHEER Champions of the Week are Forrest General Hospital & University of Southern Mississippi (USM) in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The 2 institutions, located across the street from one another, have formed a great partnership and kicked off this year’s USM football season with a Mothers’ Lounge for mothers to privately care for and breastfeed […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: LYDIA WEST!

Nov 6, 2017

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Lydia West, MPH, RD, LD is a consultant with the Mississippi Public Health Institute (MSPHI). She has been a staunch supporter of breastfeeding work, and has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to move breastfeeding initiatives in Mississippi forward! As a consultant with MSPHI, Lydia’s main role is to assist the Mississippi State Department of Health, […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: FELISHA FLOYD!

Oct 30, 2017

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Congratulations to one of the newest members on our Mississippi CHAMPS team, Felisha Floyd, BS, CLC, IBCLC, for the incredible work she is doing to reduce racial disparities in breastfeeding! Felisha is Lactation Coordinator for the Hospital Corporations of America system in Florida and Owner/Lactation Consultant with her private practice, Beyond Breastfeeding. Her work with […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: AMBER MEANS & SANDI OLSON!

Oct 23, 2017

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This week’s CHEER Champions of the Week are LT Amber Means, RN and LCDR Sandi Olson, RN, MSN. They are both Case Managers at Indian Health Service’s (IHS) Northern Cheyenne Service Unit (NCSU) on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in southeastern Montana. They are doing an amazing job coordinating the “Healthy Mothers, Healthy Tribe” project among […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: OCHSNER ST. ANNE GENERAL HOSPITAL!

Oct 16, 2017

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Congratulations to Ochsner St. Anne General Hospital in Raceland, Louisiana, for achieving Baby-Friendly designation on September 28, 2017! Ochsner St. Anne has approximately 350 births per year. They were part of the first wave of the CHAMPS South program during 2014-2017, along with several other Ochsner Health System hospitals in Louisiana. “There are moments in […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: SANNIE SNELL!

Oct 9, 2017

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Sannie (“Sandy”) Snell, MSW, MPH, President of Women and Children’s Health Initiatives, works as an independent consultant on maternal and child health issues. She is currently Project Director of Right! from the Start, a project based in the Mississippi Delta and funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation through the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi. This […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: CHIPPEWA CREE TRIBAL COUNCIL!

Sep 25, 2017

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Congratulations to the Chippewa Cree Tribal Council for their increased support for breastfeeding! Read More

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: JASMYNE CAIN!

Sep 18, 2017

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Jasmyne Cain is a ROSE Community Transformer Peer Counselor and a Volunteer at the CHAMPS Delta Hills Baby Café in Greenville, Mississippi. She was nominated as CHEER Champion of the Week for the wonderful job she is doing as a volunteer and for her own success in breastfeeding her son, Carsen! Jasmyne says before she […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: NORA HAYES & LAVONNE LITTLE OWL!

Sep 11, 2017

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Nora Hayes, BSN, Public Health Nurse, and LaVonne Little Owl, RN, BSN, Case Manager, work at the Crow Indian Health Service (IHS) in southern Montana. They are CHEER Champions of the Week for the stellar job they are doing on the IHS “Healthy Mothers, Healthy Tribe” project out of the Billings Area IHS. CHEER is […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: RAFAEL PÉREZ-ESCAMILLA!

Aug 28, 2017

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This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Rafael Pérez-Escamilla, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology & Public Health and Director of the Global Health Concentration and of the Office of Public Health Practice at the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, Connecticut. Rafael is an outstanding advocate for breastfeeding, and has dedicated his career […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: KIMBERLY MOORE-SALAS!

Aug 21, 2017

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Kimberly “Kim” Moore-Salas, IBCLC, an enrolled citizen of the Navajo Nation, is a rising star in the field of human lactation and a dedicated advocate for Indigenous mothers, babies and families. She works as a full-time Lactation Consultant at Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS) in Phoenix, Arizona and in private practice at Arizona Breastfeeding Center. Kim works with […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: WILLIAM BEAUMONT ARMY MEDICAL CENTER!

Aug 14, 2017

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This week’s Hospital of the Week is William Beaumont Army Medical Center (WBAMC) in El Paso, Texas. WBAMC enrolled in the CHAMPS South program in May 2015. They are currently working their way towards Baby-Friendly Designation, and they produced a great video about their newborn service unit and their application of evidence-based practices. The hospital shared the video on […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: SANDRA TRUMBACH!

Jul 31, 2017

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Sandra Trumbach, NNP, BC, is a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner and CHAMPS Team Lead at Hancock Medical Center in Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi. She has done an outstanding job leading her team through their Baby-Friendly journey! Especially commendable is that Sandra gathers data for CHAMPS on every birth by going through each chart by hand. Most […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: MELISSA BROWN-BURKES!

Jul 24, 2017

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This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Melissa Brown-Burkes, MS, BS, Peer Counselor II for Mississippi Department of Health’s WIC Breastfeeding Program (Jackson and George Counties). Melissa has over 5 years of breastfeeding work experience, in addition to the experience of breastfeeding her 4 children. We would like to thank her for her recent […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: CIRCLE OF MOMS BABY CAFÉ!

Jul 17, 2017

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This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Circle of Moms Baby Café, Mississippi’s 1st cluster Baby Café! Read More

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: DESERIE RICHARD!

Jul 10, 2017

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Congratulations to Deserie Richard, CLC, CLE, Peer Counselor III for Mississippi Department of Health’s WIC Breastfeeding Program (Pearl River County and Stone County). Deserie has done breastfeeding work for the past 26.5 years, starting out as a volunteer Peer Counselor when that program began in 1990! It was great to meet this veteran of breastfeeding […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: ALESHIA JONES!

Jun 26, 2017

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This week’s CHAMPion of the Week is Aleshia Jones, MBA, BSBA, CLC, WIC District IX Breastfeeding Coordinator for the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH). Aleshia began her lactation career in 2008, first as a Lactation Specialist for MSDH, who quickly promoted her to District Breastfeeding Coordinator. This July 1st, MSDH will be restructuring their […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: BLOG IS EXPANDING!

Jun 19, 2017

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Our CHAMPion of the Week blog is expanding! CHAMPS is now under our larger, umbrella center at Boston Medical Center: CHEER (The Center for Health Equity, Education and Research). In addition to our CHAMPS breastfeeding program, CHEER is working on projects in opioid misuse prevention; community health assessments; and prevention of diabetes and of domestic […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT!

Jun 12, 2017

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Congratulations to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) for its beautiful nursing mothers’ and lactation rooms! Numerous mothers have complimented these state-of-the-art rooms. One mother said, “I LOVE your lactation room and family rooms! I wish all airports had these. Thanks for promoting breast feeding in luxury! You ROCK MSP.” “More than half of all travelers […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: BROWNING PUBLIC SCHOOLS!

Jun 5, 2017

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This week’s CHAMPion of the Week is Browning Public Schools (BPS) in Browning, Montana, for adopting the “Breastfeeding in the Workplace” policy! The policy, adopted on May 25, 2016, is part of the larger “Poka-Friendly Community” project taking place within Blackfeet Nation. (Poka means “child” in the Blackfeet language.) The policy incorporates Montana and federal workplace […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: CHICKASAW NATION MEDICAL CENTER!

May 29, 2017

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Congratulations to Chickasaw Nation Medical Center in Ada, Oklahoma, on achieving Baby-Friendly designation! Congratulations to Lisa Eddings, BS, RN and Kathy Gilchrist, BS, RNC-OB, IBCLC, who have hung in there through thick and thin and are models in patience and persistence. CHAMPS has been proud to know and assist you on this journey! “It feels […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: SHANNON GROSCH!

May 22, 2017

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Shannon Grosch, RN, BSN, IBCLC, is a Lactation Consultant and the CHAMPS Team Lead at Touro Infirmary in New Orleans, Louisiana. Shannon has been doing an outstanding job leading her team through the Baby-Friendly journey and devising an organized system for more prenatal education. She also recently educated the public about breastfeeding by appearing on a […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: BLACKFEET NATION’S COMMUNITY BREASTFEEDING TEAM!

May 15, 2017

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This week’s CHAMPion of the Week is Blackfeet Nation’s Community Breastfeeding Team, for its inspiring steps towards making Blackfeet Nation a breastfeeding-friendly community! CHEER’s American Indian/Alaska Native CHAMPS program (AI/AN CHAMPS) works with tribes and hospitals across the US to improve breastfeeding support in AI/AN communities. The Community Breastfeeding Team’s main vision is to create […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: NURTURE PROJECT INTERNATIONAL!

May 8, 2017

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This week, we are excited to cheer on a new nonprofit doing amazing work, Nurture Project International (NPI)! NPI, founded in March 2016, supports some of the most vulnerable women and babies, those fleeing war and crisis. Currently, NPI has 2 programs, one in Thessaloniki in northern Greece with refugees predominantly from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: SAMIRA BROWN!

Apr 24, 2017

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Dr. Samira Brown, MD is the Newborn Nursery Medical Director, General Academic Pediatrics Section Head, and CHAMPS Pediatrician Physician Lead at Ochsner Baptist Medical Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was nominated as CHAMPion of the Week for her enthusiastic and knowledgeable support of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, and for her outstanding help during a […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: TIFFANI GRANT!

Apr 17, 2017

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Tiffani Grant, MS, RDN, LD is Director of the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity (DNPAO) for the Mississippi State Department of Health’s (MSDH) Office of Preventive Health. She directs all programs, policies, systems, and environmental changes within schools, worksites, childcare settings, and farmers’ markets as they relate to nutrition, physical activity, and obesity. […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: MISSISSIPPI BREASTFEEDING COALITION

Apr 10, 2017

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This week’s CHAMPion of the Week is the Mississippi Breastfeeding Coalition (MSBFC) in Jackson, MS! MSBFC has been a great partner of CHAMPS’ from the beginning. When CHAMPS first started, MSBFC sent out our original information to their membership to get the word out, and they have promoted virtually everything we have done! MSBFC is one of […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: STEPHANIE GABLE!

Apr 3, 2017

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Stephanie Gable, RN, IBCLC, RLC is a private practice lactation consultant and the owner of Gulf Coast Breastfeeding Center, LLC (GCBC) in Pass Christian, Mississippi. She helps mothers with their breastfeeding questions and challenges through consultations in her office, at mothers’ homes, via Skype/FaceTime, or on the phone. She also offers group and private prenatal breastfeeding classes. […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: TANYA HOPPER!

Mar 27, 2017

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This week’s CHAMPion of the Week is Tanya Hopper, CLC, WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator for the Northwest Mississippi Department of Health, District 1. Tanya has been a very vocal advocate of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) and the CHAMPS initiative. She has a strong relationship with her local hospitals, and her staff have attended all the […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: PENELOPE SATCHER!

Mar 20, 2017

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Penelope “Penne” Satcher, RN is NICU Nurse and CHAMPS Team Lead at Merit Health Wesley (MHW) in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She has been a NICU nurse for 24 years, and 21 out of those 24 years have been at MHW. Thanks to Penne’s outstanding leadership and the dedicated Baby-Friendly committee, MHW recently moved into the Designation […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: CHAMPS DELTA HILLS BABY CAFÉ™!

Mar 13, 2017

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CHAMPS is excited to honor another of our incredible Baby Cafés, the CHAMPS Delta Hills Baby Café™, a trusted resource for mothers and families in Greenville, Mississippi! “[The CHAMPS Delta Hills Baby Café] is known as the place to get free help with breastfeeding by moms in our community,” says Maggie Allen, IBCLC, who works as […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: MARSHA WALKER!

Mar 6, 2017

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​This week’s CHAMPion of the Week is Marsha Walker, RN, IBCLC, Executive Director of the National Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy (NABA). Marsha has worked as a breastfeeding practitioner, advocate, author and speaker for the past 40 years. We are excited to announce that she is our featured speaker for this week’s CHAMPS webinar, “Code Compliance […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: CHAMPS NOLA BABY CAFÉ™!

Feb 27, 2017

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The CHAMPS NOLA Baby Café™ opened its doors last June 1, 2016, and has been making an impact on its community ever since! Their weekly attendance has been gradually increasing, and in February 2017, 13 breastfeeding mothers attended. Family members, including babies’ fathers and grandmothers, also regularly attend and participate in the Café. “I believe that we […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: RENE SIMPSON!

Feb 20, 2017

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Rene Simpson, BSN, IBCLC, Lactation Coordinator and CHAMPS Team Lead at Merit Health Woman’s Hospital in Flowood, Mississippi, is this week’s CHAMPion of the Week. She also serves on the United States Lactation Consultant Association Task Force for Mentoring IBCLCs. We would like to recognize Rene for her excellent leadership of Woman’s Baby-Friendly taskforce! Woman’s […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: ELIZABETH DAWSON!

Feb 13, 2017

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Elizabeth “Betsy” Dawson, FNP-C, is Nurse Practitioner and CHAMPS Team Lead at CHAMPS hospital South Sunflower County Hospital (SSCH) in Indianola, Mississippi. Betsy has been doing a fantastic job leading the Baby-Friendly taskforce at SSCH. They began their Baby-Friendly journey in fall of 2015 and are almost ready to enter the Designation phase! Betsy describes […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: ABRA PATKOTAK!

Feb 6, 2017

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Congratulations to CHAMPion of the Week Abra Patkotak! Previously trained as a birth doula, Abra now runs Arctic Slope Native Association’s (ASNA) Pre-Maternal Home in Barrow, Alaska, a residential facility for expectant mothers from the outlying, remote North Slope villages. A 5-bedroom facility, the Pre-Maternal Home opened its doors in 2013 and has served hundreds […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: CAROLINE CAROTHERS!

Jan 30, 2017

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Congratulations to Caroline Cohen Carothers, born on January 20, 2017 at CHAMPS hospital Memorial Hospital in Gulfport, Mississippi! Caroline is the beautiful daughter of Jeremy and Janel Carothers of Pass Christian, MS, and just happens to be the first granddaughter of CHAMPS Mississippi Coordinator, Cathy Carothers, BLA, IBCLC, RLC, FILCA. Many CHAMPS participants will know […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: MESHAWN TARVER SIDDIQ!

Jan 23, 2017

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Meshawn Tarver Siddiq, Founder/Executive Officer of H.E.R. Institute, MPH Candidate, and Co-Founder/Volunteer of the CHAMPS NOLA Baby Café™, is this week’s CHAMPion of the Week. The CHAMPS NOLA Baby Café opened June 1, 2016 as Louisiana’s first Baby Café, a vital community resource offering free lactation support to pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Meshawn has been instrumental in […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: ROBIN E. WINEBAR!

Jan 17, 2017

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Congratulations to Robin E. Winebar, RN, MSN, CNL, Performance Improvement Coordinator for Women’s Service System at Ochsner Health System! Four of Ochsner Health System’s Louisiana hospitals are currently on the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) pathway: Ochsner Baptist, Ochsner Medical Center-Kenner, Ochsner St. Anne Hospital, and Ochsner Medical Center-West Bank. Robin was nominated as CHAMPion of […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: OFELIA O’DONNELL!

Jan 9, 2017

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Ofelia O’Donnell, MSN, RNC-OB, is this week’s CHAMPion of the Week. As Process Improvement Coordinator for Maternal Child Services and CHAMPS Team Lead at William Beaumont Army Medical Center (WBAMC) in El Paso, Texas, it is no surprise that she has been a catalyst for many exciting changes at WBAMC. The hospital recently entered the […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: CHARLENE KEVIN!

Dec 19, 2016

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Charlene Kevin, BA, CLC is a stellar Breastfeeding Peer Counselor 3 for the Mississippi Department of Health’s WIC Breastfeeding program, where she has worked for 13 years. During a recent CHAMPS site visit to Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi, she provided excellent input and insight. Due to her extensive experience and skills in […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: JENNIFER MELTON!

Dec 12, 2016

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This week’s CHAMPion of the Week is Jennifer Melton, BSN, RNC, IBCLC, Director of Women’s Services at CHAMPS hospital Ochsner Medical Center – Kenner (OMC-K) in Kenner, Louisiana. Jennifer was nominated as CHAMPion of the Week for the great job she is doing leading her staff in their Baby-Friendly journey. OMC-K is in the Dissemination […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: NIKKI HUNTER GREENAWAY!

Dec 5, 2016

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Nikki Hunter Greenaway, BSN, MSN FNP-C, CLC, is a self-titled “mompreneur,” who owns a private practice, Nurse Nikki LLC, which provides both prenatal, postpartum and lactation counseling and education to families, and health consulting and CPR classes to child care centers, schools and businesses.  She is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner, a Louisiana Child Care Health Consultant, and an […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: ANDREA BORDA!

Nov 28, 2016

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Andrea Borda, SB is a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor II for the Mississippi Department of Health’s District 5 WIC program in Hinds County. She began working for the MS Department of Health WIC program in 2008 as a Peer Counselor I, and advanced to a Peer Counselor II in 2011. She is currently studying to become […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: JENNIFER TURNSPLENTY!

Nov 21, 2016

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Jennifer is a student at Blackfeet Community College in Browning, Montana and an enrolled member of the Crow Tribe. She recently attended an AI/AN CHAMPS Breastfeeding Clinical Skills course held at Blackfeet Community College, and she is a photo model for CHAMPS’s reframing breastfeeding education work in the American Indian/Alaska Native community. Jennifer shares: “I […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: LINDA TUGGLE!

Nov 14, 2016

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Linda Tuggle, RNC-OB, BSN, is Clinical Director of Maternity Services at Methodist Olive Branch Hospital (MOBH) in Olive Branch, Mississippi. MOBH recently began their Baby-Friendly journey and is in the Development phase of the 4-D pathway. Linda was nominated as CHAMPion of the Week for her role in getting the Baby-Friendly process going and for […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: DOROTHY CLOWERS!

Nov 7, 2016

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Dorothy (“Dot”) Clowers, BA, CLD works both as a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor 2 for the Mississippi Department of Health District IV WIC program, and as a certified labor doula. She is also a La Leche League (LLL) leader and a volunteer breastfeeding and babywearing educator for Starkville Pregnancy Center. Dot recently participated in a CHAMPS […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: TOURO INFIRMARY!

Oct 31, 2016

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Congratulations to CHAMPS hospital Touro Infirmary in New Orleans, Louisiana, who recently earned “Gift” designation from the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Bureau of Family Health! The Gift is a Louisiana-based program that provides evidence-based breastfeeding resources to hospitals and encourages the adoption of Baby-Friendly practices. To be Gift designated, a birth facility must […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: CHRISTOPHER CHONG!

Oct 24, 2016

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Christopher (“Chris”) Chong, Pharm.D., is a clinical integrated pharmacist at Southcentral Foundation (SCF)’s Benteh Nuutah Valley Native Primary Care Center (VNPCC) in Wasilla, Alaska. SCF jointly operates the VNPCC and the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage, which is a designated CHAMPS hospital. He was nominated as CHAMPion of the Week for his expansive work […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: JENNIFER BRIGGS!

Oct 17, 2016

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Jennifer Briggs, CLC is a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor III for the Mississippi Department of Health WIC program District IV. She is on the Baby-Friendly community advisory board at CHAMPS hospital Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle in Columbus, MS, where she recently participated in a CHAMPS site visit. Her input at that site visit was stellar! Jennifer […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: CHRISTUS SANTA ROSA HOSPITAL – NEW BRAUNFELS!

Oct 10, 2016

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Congratulations to CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital in New Braunfels, Texas (CSR-NB), which was recently designated Baby-Friendly! This is the 1st hospital in the CHAMPS South project to become designated. CSR-NB is now the 18th Baby-Friendly hospital in the state of Texas and the 1st anywhere in central to south Texas. CSR-NB was also one of […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: MARSHA STEGALL!

Sep 26, 2016

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Marsha Stegall, CLC is a Peer Counselor III at the Mississippi Department of Health’s District 2 WIC Breastfeeding program in Lee County. She has worked for the WIC Breastfeeding program for nearly 18 years, starting off as a stay-at-home breastfeeding mom/peer counselor, moving into the role of Lactation Specialist, and now working as a Peer […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: RODNEY GISCLAIR, JR., DON FALGOUT, & CODY WALKER!

Sep 19, 2016

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This week’s CHAMPions of the Week are Rodney Gisclair, Jr., Lead CRNA, Don Falgout, CRNA and Cody Walker, CRNA, the team of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists who have helped to make skin-to-skin following cesarean sections a success at CHAMPS hospital Ochsner St. Anne Hospital in Raceland, Louisiana! Crystal Risinger, BSN, RN, IBCLC, Director of Emergency […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: CYNTHIA COLEMAN!

Sep 12, 2016

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Cynthia Coleman, CLC, is the WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator for the Northeast Mississippi Department of Health. She was nominated as CHAMPion of the Week for her great work as WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator and for her invaluable input at a recent CHAMPS site visit at North Mississippi Medical Center-Tupelo! Cynthia and her staff work with 4 area […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: MEGAN TIMM & NICOLE SANTONASTASO!

Sep 5, 2016

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Megan Timm, CLC, CTTS, Prevention Program Supervisor, and Nicole Santonastaso, NDTR, CLC, Healthy Start Educator and WIC Program Breastfeeding Coordinator, are doing great work at CHAMPS Hospital Norton Sound Health Corporation (NSHC) in Nome, Alaska! NSHC is a tribally owned health care organization that serves 15 villages of Inupiaq, Siberian Yupik and Yup’ik people, as […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: WANDA MOORE!

Aug 29, 2016

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Wanda Moore, RN, IBCLC, CCE, Labor/Delivery RN, is CHAMPS Team Lead at North Mississippi Medical Center (NMMC)-West Point in West Point, Mississippi. She has worked for NMMC-West Point for 17 years with 14 of those years in the Obstetrics department. She is doing a great job leading her team through the Baby-Friendly journey! NNMC-West Point […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: IRENE MCLENDON!

Aug 22, 2016

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Irene McLendon, B.S. Ed, CLC, is the District 8 WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator for the Mississippi Department of Health. She is doing a great job supporting her staff as WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator and offered invaluable input at a recent CHAMPS site visit at Merit Health Wesley in Hattiesburg, MS! Irene has worked for the MS WIC […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: FORREST GENERAL HOSPITAL!

Aug 15, 2016

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​​CHAMPS Hospital of the Week this week is Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg, Mississippi—the first hospital in Mississippi to become Baby-Friendly! The hospital was designated on December 30, 2015, and since then has been sharing support and advice with many more Mississippi hospitals now on the Baby-Friendly pathway. Tangela Boutwell, BSN, Director of Women & […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: BARBARA PRATT!

Aug 8, 2016

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Barbara (“Barb”) Pratt, RN, BSN, IBCLC is a member of the New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force, the Navajo Nation Breastfeeding Coalition, the South Dakota Breastfeeding Task Force, and the United States Lactation Consultant Association. She recently returned to South Dakota from New Mexico where she worked at Gallup Indian Medical Center (GIMC) for 2.5 years […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: CINDY GREENE!

Jul 25, 2016

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Cindy Greene, RN is Nurse Manager, CHAMPS Team Lead, and Chair of the Baby-Friendly Steering Committee at SEARHC, Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka, Alaska. She is doing a great job leading her team in their Baby-Friendly journey! Mt. Edgecumbe is a tribal hospital serving mostly Tlingit tribal members as well as the general population, and […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: VICKI WALTERS!

Jul 18, 2016

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Vicki Walters RN, BS is Director of Women’s Services, NICU and Pediatrics, and CHAMPS Lactation Team Lead at CHAMPS hospital Merit Health Wesley in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She has 36 years of nursing experience. Previously, Vicki worked as Director of Women’s and Children’s Services at CHAMPS hospital Merit Health River Region in Vicksburg, MS. She has […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: ALASKA NATIVE MEDICAL CENTER!

Jul 11, 2016

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Alaska Native Medical Center (ANMC) in Anchorage, Alaska was the first hospital in Alaska to enroll in the American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) CHAMPS program. Staff members at ANMC have been working towards Baby-Friendly designation for 10+ years but have faced challenges. Now they are ready to forge ahead, and on March 22, 2016 they entered […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: SAN ANTONIO BREASTFEEDING COALITION!

Jun 27, 2016

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The San Antonio Breastfeeding Coalition (SABC) is the central coordinating resource for breastfeeding support, advocacy and education in San Antonio, Texas. Their bilingual website is an excellent tool for families and professionals to access education, information, as well as current breastfeeding news and events. They support local events, such as the upcoming La Leche League of Texas conference and […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: DEE HUERTA!

Jun 20, 2016

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Deanna Denise (“Dee”) Huerta, IBCLC, Certification of Nutrition, WCS, is the Breastfeeding Coordinator at Christus Health WIC in San Antonio, Texas. She has worked for Texas WIC for 9 years and for Christus Health WIC for 4. Christus Health WIC has 3 clinics in San Antonio, including one across the street from CHAMPS hospital, Christus […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: LAURA MARÍA GRUBER!

Jun 13, 2016

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Laura María Gruber, IBCLC, RLC is a rising star in the breastfeeding field! Based out of San Antonio, Texas, Laura is a private practice IBCLC and the owner of Breastfeeding Housecalls, LLC. She is also involved in multiple special projects. She participates in media and advocacy projects; is the founder of the San Antonio Breastfeeds! support […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: EUPHEMIA JOHN & TWILA WHITEKILLER!

Jun 6, 2016

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Euphemia John, IBCLC, CLC and Twila Whitekiller, IBCLC, CLC help to run an outstanding lactation program at Cherokee Nation WIC! Euphemia, Lactation Coordinator, has worked there for 31 years, and Twila, Lactation Supervisor, has worked there for 11 years. Both women are members of the Cherokee tribe. Cherokee Nation’s WIC program serves approximately 7,000 people […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: NIKKI HANNON!

May 23, 2016

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CHAMPS congratulates our newest team member, Julia “Nikki” Hannon, M.Ed., for the incredible work she is doing to support breastfeeding within the Browning Public Schools (BPS) in Montana! Nikki will be joining our AI/AN CHAMPS project as a consultant, specifically working on drug prevention and breastfeeding in the Blackfeet community. She brings a wealth of […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: OCH REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER!

May 16, 2016

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Congratulations to CHAMPS Hospital OCH Regional Medical Center in Starkville, Mississippi, the only facility in Mississippi to win the prestigious 2016 IBCLC Care Award! The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® and the International Lactation Consultant Association® are the 2 organizations to present this award. To qualify, community health facilities or hospitals must staff a […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: THE 16 INDIAN HOSPITALS THAT HAVE BECOME BABY-FRIENDLY!

May 11, 2016

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In the past several years, 16 Indian hospitals (both Indian Health Service and tribal) have become Baby-Friendly! CHAMPS and Baby-Friendly USA Executive Director Trish MacEnroe, BS, CDN, CLC personally congratulated these hospitals at this week’s AI/AN CHAMPS Conference, “The Second Indian Country Breastfeeds Conference: Sustainability and Support” in Albuquerque, New Mexico! The 2-day conference covered […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: MAGGIE ALLEN!

Apr 25, 2016

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This week’s CHAMPion is Maggie Allen, IBCLC, who will be the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) at the new CHAMPS Delta Hills Baby Café opening April 27, 2016! Maggie is a Lactation Consultant for the Washington Department WIC office at the Mississippi Department of Health, and has worked for the MS Department of Health […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: A TRIBUTE TO CAPT SUZAN MURPHY (1952-2016)

Apr 18, 2016

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​CAPT Suzan “Sue” Murphy, RD, MPH, IBCLC passed away on March 14, 2016. She was known and beloved by the breastfeeding community across the USA, and was long identified as the ultimate breastfeeding champion and mentor at the Indian Health Service (IHS), where she served for much of her life in the Phoenix, Arizona area. […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: ANDERSON REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER!

Apr 11, 2016

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If you live near Meridian, Mississippi, you may have seen these eye-catching billboard images showing a mother and infant doing skin-to-skin with the slogan “Being close is best.” They are part of a unique and exciting campaign by CHAMPS hospital Anderson Regional Medical Center to raise public awareness about breastfeeding and skin-to-skin! Currently, the images […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: THE MOTHER’S MILK BANK OF LOUISIANA AT OCHSNER BAPTIST!

Apr 4, 2016

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CHAMPS Hospital Ochsner Baptist Medical Center in New Orleans, LA has opened the Mother’s Milk Bank of Louisiana (MMBL) at Ochsner Baptist! Currently, MMBL serves as a depot site, collecting donated human milk to send to the Milk Bank of Austin. Since opening in December 2015, MMBL has shipped over 5,000 oz. of donated milk […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: JEANNETTE YAZZIE!

Mar 28, 2016

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Jeannette Yazzie, eMBA, BSN, RN, is the Nurse Consultant / Chief Nurse for the Indian Health Service (IHS) – Navajo Area, Chair of the Navajo Area Baby-Friendly Task Force, and a member of the Navajo tribe. Jeannette worked with all Navajo Area federal IHS and tribal hospitals (Chinle, Gallup, Shiprock, Crownpoint, Tuba City, and Tsehootsooi) […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: ANGIE WILLIAMSON!

Mar 21, 2016

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Angie Williamson, RNC, BSN, is the Maternal-Child Director and CHAMPS Team Lead at King’s Daughters Medical Center (KDMC) in Brookhaven, Mississippi. She has worked at KDMC for 27 years. KDMC joined the CHAMPS initiative on May 20, 2015 and formally entered the Baby-Friendly pathway on February 18, 2016. Angie has done a wonderful job getting […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: TUBA CITY REGIONAL HEALTH CARE CORPORATION!

Mar 14, 2016

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Congratulations to Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation (TCRHCC), located in Tuba City, Arizona, for being designated Baby-Friendly on February 28, 2016! TCRHCC is a small tribal hospital located in Navajo Nation. Their Obstetrics (OB) Unit has 5 labor/delivery/recovery rooms, 3 private postpartum rooms, 2 semi-private postpartum rooms and a 2-bed level II nursery for […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: SHEUVUNE COOPER!

Mar 7, 2016

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​Sheuvune Cooper is a Lactation Specialist for WIC at the Mississippi Department of Health in Hancock County, MS. Through her position with WIC, Sheuvune splits her time between the WIC office and CHAMPS hospital Hancock Medical Center (HMC). Sheuvune also volunteers as a breastfeeding advocate in the community. Her outstanding commitment to breastfeeding makes her […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: DR. SUSAN KAROL!

Feb 29, 2016

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Dr. Susan Karol, MD, is Chief Medical Officer of the Indian Health Service (IHS). She was nominated as CHAMPion of the week because of her work on the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) at IHS. Under Dr. Karol’s leadership, 100% of IHS federal birthing hospitals became Baby-Friendly designated by December 2014. We salute Dr. Karol for […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: KATHY GILCHRIST & LISA EDDINGS!

Feb 22, 2016

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This week’s CHAMPions are 2 stalwart leaders from Chickasaw National Medical Center (CNMC) in Ada, Oklahoma. Kathy Gilchrist, BS, RNC-OB, IBCLC, is Lactation Counselor and Educator and has been with CNMC for 16+ years. Lisa Eddings, BSN, RN, is Assistant OB Nurse Manager/Nurse Educator and has been with CNMC for 23+ years. Both Kathy and […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: ANTOINETTE KLEINER!

Feb 15, 2016

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​Antoinette M. Kleiner, RN, MSN, IBCLC, is a Nurse Educator-Lactation Consultant at Indian Health Service (IHS) hospital Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock, New Mexico. She led her hospital’s successful breastfeeding journey when they became designated in 2014, and has been a leader in sustaining the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) not only at Shiprock, but […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: DESTA REFF!

Feb 8, 2016

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Desta Reff, JD is the Delta Clinical Fellow, a joint appointment between Harvard Law School and the Social Science Research Center at Mississippi State University. She is also the Director of Delta Directions, an interdisciplinary group of individuals from academic institutions and foundations working for change in the MS Delta. In this position, Desta engages […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: MAJOR KIMBERLY ROSENBAUM!

Jan 25, 2016

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Major Kimberly Rosenbaum, MSN, RNC-OB, IBCLC, is a Maternal Child Clinical Nurse Specialist, Baby-Friendly Task Force Leader, and CHAMPS Team Lead at William Beaumont Army Medical Center (WBAMC) in El Paso, Texas. WBAMC is in the 3rd phase (Dissemination) of the Baby-Friendly 4-D pathway and was designated a Mother-Friendly Worksite on January 15, 2016. Mother-Friendly […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: PORTIA L. WILLIAMS!

Jan 18, 2016

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Portia L. Williams, RN, BSN, IBCLC, RLC, CCHC, is a nurse and lactation consultant at Touro Infirmary in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was nominated as CHAMPion of the Week for her enthusiastic support of breastfeeding and valuable contributions to presentations at two of our recent CHAMPS conferences. Portia’s motivation to promote breastfeeding is twofold—professional and […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: LINDA AND VINCE MCGRATH!

Jan 11, 2016

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If you have been to one of our CHAMPS conferences, you may have had the pleasure of meeting, or being photographed by Linda and Vince McGrath. Vince and Linda are a dynamic, husband-wife duo devoting much of their professional and personal lives to the promotion of breastfeeding in the Southern United States! Linda McGrath, PhD, […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: SUSAN SPENCER!

Jan 4, 2016

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Susan Spencer, MSN, RNC, IBCLC, is Director of Women’s Services and CHAMPS Team Leader at Baptist Memorial Hospital – Golden Triangle (BMH-GT) in Columbus, MS. She was nominated as CHAMPion of the Week for the great work she and her team are doing at their hospital and for her wonderful presentations on skin-to-skin at 3 […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: MOTHER’S MILK BANK OF MISSISSIPPI!

Dec 21, 2015

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This week’s CHAMPion of the Week is Mother’s Milk Bank of Mississippi in Flowood, MS, the first and only human milk bank in the state! The milk bank announced it has passed formal inspection by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America, and began processing milk donated by Mississippi mothers two weeks ago. The […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: JOHN PURVIS!

Dec 14, 2015

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John Purvis, MD, is an Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, a Pediatrician at Regional One Health in Memphis, Tennessee, and an American Academy of Pediatrics Fellow. He is also one of the CHAMPS Pediatrician Physician Leads at Regional One, where he has been promoting better breastfeeding practices and championing rooming-in. […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: APEXA PATEL!

Dec 7, 2015

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Apexa Patel, BA, CHAMPS Project Coordinator, was nominated as CHAMPion of the Week for her exceptional work coordinating the two recent CHAMPS conferences! These two conferences were the CHAMPS New Orleans Learning Summit on 10/20-10/21 in New Orleans, LA and the CHAMPS Mississippi Learning Summit on 11/12/15 in Jackson, MS. They focused on implementing the […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: BLACKFEET COMMUNITY HOSPITAL!

Nov 30, 2015

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Congratulations to the Obstetrics Department of Blackfeet Community Hospital (BCH), an Indian Health Service hospital in Browning, Montana, which recently won a 2015 Health Hero award from the Eat Right Montana Coalition and the Montana Action for Healthy Kids Team! This statewide award is given to individuals or organizations that have done exceptional work to […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: JOAN ROONEY!

Nov 23, 2015

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​Joan Rooney, RN, MSN, IBCLC, is Assistant Vice President of Women’s and Neonatal Service and CHAMPS Team Leader at Ochsner Medical Center-West Bank (OMCWB) in Gretna, Louisiana, where she has worked for 40 years. Joan is determined to help the hospital achieve Baby-Friendly designation before planning to retire in the next few years to spend […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: SARAH BROOM!

Nov 16, 2015

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Sarah Broom, MD, is the Medical Director of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi (BCBSMS), pioneers in their endorsement of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) across the state, their work with hospitals in Mississippi on Baby-Friendly practices, and their leadership. Sarah is leading the work with BCBSMS, and they are partnering with CHAMPS to […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: BOLAJI FAMUYIDE!

Nov 9, 2015

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Mobolaji (“Bolaji”) Famuyide, MD, MA, MPH, is the physician CHAMPion in Newborn Medicine/Pediatrics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) supporting their journey towards Baby-Friendly designation. She has worked at UMMC since 2008, where she is an Associate Professor and Neonatologist, and the Medical Director of the NICU and Nursery Services. Bolaji is also […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: NIKKI LEE!

Oct 26, 2015

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Nikki Lee, RN, BSN, MS, IBCLC, CCE, CIMI, ANLC, CKC, is teaching 2 courses for CHAMPS this week—a “Clinical Skills Training” and a “CHAMPS Education Opportunity” covering 19 hours of training required by Baby-Friendly USA™. We are excited to offer these courses to participating CHAMPS hospitals free of charge and grateful to Nikki for volunteering […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: LORI TEACHWORTH!

Oct 19, 2015

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​Last week we featured West Jefferson Medical Center in Marrero, Louisiana and their CHAMPS Team Leader, Leslie Lyons. This week’s CHAMPion of the Week is Lori Teachworth, a key player behind the incredible changes at West Jefferson regarding their electronic medical records! Lori has been a Certified Pediatric nurse for 8 years and has worked […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: LESLIE LYONS!

Oct 12, 2015

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Leslie Lyons, MSN, RN is the CHAMPS Team Leader at West Jefferson Medical Center in Marrero, Louisiana. West Jefferson has done an amazing job integrating the guidance CHAMPS has provided regarding upgrading their electronic medical records to ensure comprehensive, accurate documentation and simple data extraction on all measures, and by race. They are the first […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: JACQUELINE LAMBERT!

Oct 5, 2015

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​A native of Pace, Mississippi, Jacqueline Lambert works as a Lactation Specialist for both the Mississippi State Department of Health and for WIC. She was instrumental in representing WIC at several recent CHAMPS hospital site visits in the Mississippi Delta. She has worked long and hard on speaking up for disadvantaged mothers, and we are […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: LCDR CARRIE RIGSBY!

Sep 28, 2015

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Lieutenant Commander Carrie Rigsby, BSN, RN is a nurse at Cherokee Nation W.W. Hastings Hospital in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, a 58-bed facility serving the Cherokee Nation. In 2013, Carrie became the Baby-Friendly Project Lead for her hospital, and forged the path for its designation as the first tribal Baby-Friendly hospital in Oklahoma in July 2015! Carrie […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: AMY BROWER!

Sep 21, 2015

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Our newest CHAMPion of the week is Amy Brower, RN! Amy Brower is the CHAMPS Team Lead at Greenwood Leflore Hospital, and since working with CHAMPS, she has setup the Pilot Breastfeeding Club at her hospital and is helping to host one of our 4-hour Clinical Competency trainings. Amy lives in Holcomb, Mississippi, and is […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: LEANNE MURRAY!

Sep 14, 2015

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Congratulations to our newest CHAMPion, Leanne Murray! Since Hancock Medical Center enrolled with CHAMPS, Leanne has been a huge motivator in their push to increase skin-to-skin rates. Leanne currently runs simulations for Labor and delivery staff to learn about and to get comfortable with practicing skin-to-skin. Leanne also aided in creating and unveiling the Lactation […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: ASHLEY SMITH!

Sep 8, 2015

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Ashley Smith, RN, IBCLC, born and raised in Memphis Tennessee, works at Regional One Health Hospital as Nurse Coordinator for the Lactation Department, with a background in Labor and Delivery. She attended the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and University of Memphis prior to completing the nursing curriculum from Methodist Hospital School of Nursing in Memphis, TN. […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: STEPHANIE GLENN!

Aug 31, 2015

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Congratulations to our newest CHAMPion(s) of the Week, Sophia and Stephanie Glenn! Stephanie Glenn is a 22 year old mother from New Orleans, Louisiana, who has exclusively breastfed her daughter Sophia for 9 months with no plans to stop. Stephanie delivered her daughter Sophia at CHAMPS-Enrolled Hospital West Jefferson Medical Center, from whom she has […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: CHARLENE RAMIREZ!

Aug 24, 2015

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Charlene Ramirez, ADN, enrolled member of the Blackfeet Tribe, is our latest CHAMPion of the week. The CHAMPS initiative now includes our recently funded American Indian/Alaska Native CHAMPS project, and Charlene is our first AI/AN CHAMPion. Charlene was born in Great Falls, MT, and currently resides in Browning, MT. She is the obstetric supervisor and Baby Friendly Coordinator […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: HANCOCK MEDICAL CENTER!

Aug 17, 2015

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Congratulations to this week’s CHAMPion Hospital, Hancock Medical Center! Located in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, with an average of 210 births per year, Hancock Medical Center enrolled in CHAMPS on March 12th, 2015. Since then, they have been making a lot of progress towards their goals of increasing breastfeeding rates, skin-to-skin rates, and staff education. […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: JENNIFER WHITE!

Aug 11, 2015

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This week’s CHAMPion is Jennifer White, RN, IBCLC, RLC, who is leading the Baby-Friendly effort as an IBCLC for Children’s Hospital of San Antonio in both the Women’s Services Area as well as the level IV, 45-bed NICU. Jennifer went to Nursing School where she now lives, in San Antonio TX, and has been a […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: SABRINA GANAWAY!

Jul 27, 2015

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Sabrina Ganaway, our CHAMPion of the week, was born in Tupelo, Mississippi. She grew up in a small rural community, graduated high school in 1973, and later went on to pursue an Associate degree in Nursing from Mississippi University for Women in 1977. Currently she serves as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) at […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: KAREN BISHOP

Jul 20, 2015

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For over 35 years, Our CHAMPion of the week Karen Bishop has been a Maternal and Child Health (MCH) nurse at North Mississippi Medical Center (NMMC) in Tupelo, MS. She started her career in 1979 in the NICU/nursery, where she saw very few mothers breastfeeding, and little to no support for breastfeeding from the physicians […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: REGIONAL ONE HEALTH

Jul 13, 2015

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Congratulations to our first Hospital CHAMPion, Regional One Health! With 3953 births per year, and a level 3 NICU with 69 beds, Regional One, Memphis, TN, is one of the largest hospitals currently enrolled in the CHAMPS Initiative. Regional One joined CHAMPS on March 2nd, 2015, and recently moved into the discovery stage on the […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: CHRISTY BROOKS

Jul 6, 2015

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This week’s CHAMPion of the week, Christy Brooks, RN, IBCLC, was the first CHAMPS team lead to enter all the breastfeeding and practice data that CHAMPS is collecting, on all measures! Congratulations! Christy Brooks, born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, lives in Tipton County and is a full time lactation consultant at St. Francis Hospital […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: CHARLENE H. COLLIER

Jun 29, 2015

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Charlene H.Collier MD, MPH, MHS, FACOG is originally from New Jersey, but lives in Mississippi with her husband Gerald and new baby Jordan. She was an undergraduate, and medical school, at Brown University and received a MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health. She trained in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Yale New Haven Hospital […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: PAULA V. BUGG

Jun 22, 2015

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Paula V. Bugg, a true ATLien and beloved DAWG fan, is our CHAMPion of the Week! She completed her undergraduate degree at The University of Georgia and she recently received her Master of Biological Science degree from Mississippi College. Paula works as Communications and Media Coordinator for ROSE (Reaching Our Sister Everywhere). ROSE and CHAMPS […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: AIRA JAE ETHERIDGE

May 25, 2015

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Meet Aira Jae Etheridge, this week’s CHAMPion! Aira Jae recently graduated from Boston University School of Public Health with an MPH in Maternal and Child Health. During her last year as an MPH student, she worked as a Regional Coordinator for CHAMPS and has developed a range of CHAMPS materials and handouts. Aira Jae’s biggest […]

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CHEER CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: TAWANDA LOGAN-HURT

May 13, 2015

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This week’s CHAMPion is Tawanda Logan-Hurt, BSW, DC. A native of Greenwood, MS, Tawanda works in the Mississippi Delta, as a Breastfeeding Coordinator in District III at the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDOH). Her passion for supporting breastfeeding moms and babies has driven her career at MSDOH for the last 9 years. When Tawanda […]

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