Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The CGBI team has moved into 2017 with renewed energy and enthusiasm for the work year ahead. During the typical time for resolutions and promises for the New Year, the CGBI team was considering our past, present and future of our institute, how we can improve and expand, while still maintaining an infrastructure of excellence in our programmatic endeavors. Although we have been working on equity issues since our
inception, we started 2017 off reflecting deeply on our privilege as an organization working in a complicated lactation and healthcare landscape that is full of structural barriers and bias. In early January, we hosted the Center for Social Inclusion and fellows from the CSI Racial Equity Cohort for a Racial Equity in Breastfeeding Workshop (read more about CSI’s Simran Noor in our Colleague Corner). Students, clinical preceptors, staff, and partners were engaged in a number of self-reflective activities to raise our awareness of racial bias and injustice. While this work is very emotional and challenging, we are proud to be on this journey. I want to thank Simran Noor, Mona Liza Hamlin, MSN, RN, IBCLC and Brenda Reyes, RN, CLC for guiding us on our path.
At the end of February, we said goodbye to CGBI Clinical/Social Researcher and Project Director for Community Activities Kathleen Anderson. Kathleen has been instrumental in building our non-healthcare programmatic activities. Kathleen led all of our child care initiatives including facilitating the National Collaborative for Advancing Breastfeeding in Child Care. She participated with other stakeholders in the development of the Breastfeeding-Friendly Communities/Cities Award being pilot tested in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, and also worked on our responsive feeding project in Forsyth County funded by the Kate B Reynolds Charitable Trust. Kathleen came to us with a unique frame of early childhood education and has been a La Leche League leader for many years, serving on the LLL USA board. This perspective greatly enhanced her work at CGBI. Her long lasting contributions to our work are immeasurable. Daina Huntley, MPH, CHES joined us at the end of February as the new Director of Community Activities. Daina has jumped in with both feet and is orienting to her new role. Please see the staff transitions article in this edition of the BFE for more on both Kathleen and Daina.
March is always an exciting month for our team as we co-sponsor the Breastfeeding and Feminism International Conference with our colleague Dr. Paige Hall Smith from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Dr. Hall-Smith and the late Dr. Miriam Labbok worked very closely over the years to build this conference as a one of a kind opportunity for learning about new research and programs, sharing and conversing on important issues to women and their families. This year the theme is Breastfeeding as Social Justice: From Crucial Conversation to Inspired Action. The conference will be held from Wednesday, March 22nd to Friday, March 24th and the Sheraton Hotel, Chapel Hill. To learn more and register please visit http://breastfeedingandfeminism.org. This will be our first year without Dr. Labbok standing alongside Dr. Hall-Smith facilitating and moderating groundbreaking sessions but we know she is with us in Spirit. I would personally like to thank Dr. Alison Stuebe for representing CGBI on the steering committee during a very difficult time for our team.
Lastly, I would like to introduce you to our youngest CGBI family member. Research Associate Dr. Kristin Tully gave birth to Bethany Samantha Tully on Friday, February 3, 2017. We congratulate Kristin, Jonathan and big sister Elise on the arrival of their little miracle.