Fifth Annual Summit on Breastfeeding
June 19-20, 2012
- First Food: The Essential Role of Breastfeeding
- On June 19 and 20, 2013 more than 65 leaders in health and public policy – representing government, academia, industry, nonprofits and grassroots organizations – gathered in Washington, D.C. for the Fifth Annual Summit on Breastfeeding. The Summit was convened by the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, and focused on improving breastfeeding rates in the United States.
- Dr. Ruth Lawrence of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine welcomed attendees, and shared a tribute to the late C. Everett Koop, a previous Surgeon General of the United States, and a champion for breastfeeding.
- The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, which identifies ways that families, communities, employers and health care professionals could improve breastfeeding rates, was a focal point of the Summit. A panel featuring Dr. Rahn Bailey of the National Medical Association, Dr. Flavia Mercado of the National Hispanic Medical Association, Dr. Robert Block of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Michael Lu of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau at the Department of Health and Human Services discussed progress toward achieving this goal.
- Dr. Thomas Farley, the New York City Health Commissioner, discussed the Latch On NYC initiative, a hospital-based initiative to support a woman's decision to breastfeed. Latch On NYC received significant media coverage, primarily because of its push to end the distribution of free formula in hospitals.
- Day Two opened with a video from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which demonstrated how the First Food movement has grown over time. Diana Derige of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation shared the foundation's commitment to improving the lives of vulnerable children and families – breastfeeding is a significant part of that work.
- Ana Pujols McKee of The Joint Commission shared new performance measurements for hospitals and patient care, which could increase breastfeeding rates in health care environments. James Parrott of the Virginia Premier Health Plan discussed his company's innovative "Infant to Work" program, which allows new parents to bring their infants to the office. Susanne Madden of The Verden Group shared how the Affordable Care Act's breastfeeding regulations are open to interpretation; new policies from insurance providers vary widely, and relatively few have made these regulations public.
- Jennifer Hunter of SEIU presented on the state of legal protections for working mothers, and how workplace environments influence a woman's decision to start or continue breastfeeding.
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