Breastfeeding Advocates Honored By Medela

2013 Breastfeeding Hall of Excellence Inductees Announced
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Medela today announced the induction of three honorees to the Breastfeeding Hall of Excellence. The inductees—Sherry Payne, MSN, RN, CNE, IBCLC; David Duresky; and V. Kuroji Patrick—will each be awarded a $5,000 grant to fund research, sponsor continuing education, purchase equipment for use in their practice, or donate to the breastfeeding charity of their choice. In honor of National Breastfeeding Month, Medela also announced that it will be providing free access for the first 1,000 enrollees to their online Breastfeeding University during the month of August to directly support moms-to-be, moms who are committed to breastfeeding, and others who would like to learn tips for success to become a breastfeeding advocate.

For parents of a newborn, the baby’s care can at times be overwhelming. While rewarding and beneficial for mother and baby, nursing can pose challenges, but a supportive network of family, friends, and professionals can make the difference in the breastfeeding journey. Passion and compassion are at the core of Medela’s philosophy. Medela takes pride in honoring the hard work, dedication, and best practices that US-based lactation consultants and breastfeeding advocates show every day through their work in the community.

“It is so exciting to see the representation by our inductees of the many different roles family, friends, and professionals can play in a mom’s breastfeeding journey,” said Carolin Archibald, president of Medela. “We have added another new category in our Breastfeeding Hall of Excellence to recognize community leaders. This demonstrates the growing and increasingly passionate commitment breastfeeding advocates play in both traditional and non-traditional roles. The CDC’s Breastfeeding Report Cards show an upward trend in US breastfeeding initiation, which increased from 73.8 percent in 2004 to 76.5 percent in 2010. At Medela, we know this trend has a lot to do with breastfeeding advocates like the ones we honor today. We look forward to helping to meet national goals for breastfeeding duration so babies and moms may obtain the full health benefits of breastfeeding.”

2013 Breastfeeding Hall of Excellence Inductees
Lactation Consultant Inductee: Sherry Payne, MSN, RN, CNE, IBCLC, 
Overland Park, Kansas

Payne, a nurse and lactation consultant, is dedicated to raising breastfeeding rates within all communities and particularly among women of color. To provide support, education, and intervention, she founded Uzazi Village in 2012. The organization serves women free of charge with volunteer lactation consultants and breastfeeding peer educators. Chocolate Milk Cafe, geared toward African-American women, is one of two breastfeeding support groups Uzazi Village runs.

“Six of my nine children were born at home and successfully breastfed. I want other women to know the power that comes from breastfeeding.” –Sherry Payne

Professional Inductee: David Duresky, Lighthouse, Florida
As a former research analyst for a children’s organization looking for scalable solutions to obesity, Duresky discovered that breastfeeding had a positive impact on efforts to address child obesity, as well as on other health and emotional issues. In his current role as quality assurance and training manager at Broward Healthy Start Coalition, a nonprofit supporting pregnant women, mothers, and babies, Duresky launched a training program for breastfeeding. The program has trained breastfeeding educators in Broward County and now incorporates a workbook for use in the field and will be shared across the state at the Florida Department of Health conference.

“While I know that there are women who cannot breastfeed for medical and other reasons, I refuse to accept the reality that millions of children could be healthier and happier through breastfeeding, but are not.” –David Duresky

Community Inductee: V. Kuroji Patrick, Silver Spring, Maryland
Father of four, Patrick recalls his mother breaking from cultural norms in the 1970s to breastfeed him and his brothers. Through a series of polling he conducted within his own family and network prior to becoming a father, Patrick soon realized that breastfeeding was an integral part of his children’s health and quickly became his wife’s biggest breastfeeding advocate. Through his own experience, Patrick understood the important role that fathers can play in increasing breastfeeding rates and developed a breastfeeding children’s book with a father depicted as actively involved with his breastfed child. He is also dedicated to providing education to the underserved communities in, and around, Washington, DC, where exclusive breastfeeding at three months is only 32.1 percent, according to the CDC’s 2013 Breastfeeding Report Card.

“Fathers are parents too, and we simply do not see enough imagery supporting the critical role they play in a breastfed child’s life. I want to help change that.” –V. Kuroji Patrick