Director’s Message

The Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute was founded on January 1st, 2006. Thanks to a generous donor who chooses to remain anonymous, the Institute was launched with an endowed chair and resources to permit immediate action in support of research, service, and training in public health as well as the clinical skills that are necessary for increased support to enable every woman to choose and succeed in optimal infant feeding.  Today we are pleased to be funded by several donors including:  the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the John Rex Foundation, the Duke Endowment, the Kate B Reynolds Charitable Trust as well as several federal entities.

The Institute is well placed at UNC, in the oldest state university in the United States, since improving the health of North Carolinian families is our primary goal. We are also fortunate to be in the Maternal and Child Health Department under the leadership of Dr. Bert Peterson. The highly respected Department of Maternal and Child Health, with its state, national and global interests, serves as the perfect home for this new center of excellence, which supports the mother/child dyad as the focus for research, teaching and service.

CGBI has developed a relatively new construct designed to utilize a transdisciplinary approach that continually forces consideration of multiple components of the issue in question: the E-TIERs approach. First, we EXPLORE what is known both by reviewing the literature and by going beyond this, exploring ongoing programs and initiatives. We then TRANSLATE these findings into recommendations for INNOVATIVE IMPLEMENTATION of an intervention, dissemination or social change. We propose that any implementation be coupled with a plan to EVALUATE. The outcomes of evaluation must be used to adapt, modify, and improve in order to REPLICATE, reassess, adapt, then scale-up what works, so that more and more mothers are aware of the importance of their feeding behavior and experience an environment that supports healthful behaviors. We are currently using this approach in all of our project work.

For more about the Institute, please see our brief CGBI Brochure. In addition, we create an CGBI Annual Report January 2013, produce a quarterly newsletter Breastfeeding Exclusive, and maintain a blog: Breastfeeding4health to cover current events that impact breastfeeding success.”

On a personal note, I am sincerely grateful to have the opportunity to be the first Institute Professor and Director, and to be among such excellent colleagues.  I am especially grateful to our Dean Barbara Rimer, and to our Department Chair Bert Peterson for his vision for the MCH Department that includes this Institute.

With best wishes for the future,

Miriam Labbok, MD, MPH, MMS, IBCLC
Director, Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (CGBI)
Professor of the Practice of Public Health
Department of Maternal and Child Health

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