Recently, Holzer received the “Maternity Best Practice Award” for the “Ban the Bag” pledge at the Ohio Lactation Consultant’s Annual Breastfest Conference. During this event, 64 Ohio Hospitals were recognized for their efforts to discontinue the distribution of free formula giveaway bags that undermine breastfeeding support for mothers and babies. This action places the facilities one step closer to a Baby-Friendly environment.
Holzer’s International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), Stephanie Carroll, was honored as an “Outstanding Innovation as a Cultural Change Agent” for her efforts in the founding and acting President of the Appalachian Breastfeeding Network, which boasts over 185 members in 11 states. An excerpt from her honoring included:
Stephanie Carroll is the embodiment of “Do it big or stay in bed.” Her commitment to improving dismal breastfeeding rates does not stop at the county line or even the Ohio border. It encompasses rural America! Providing culturally appropriate chronic disease prevention strategies is a challenge often researched by “outsiders” who are perplexed by appalling rates of obesity and disease in our culture, they scratch their heads at what they call ignorance and “noncompliance.” Stephanie understands this challenge because she is truly an insider; she is one of “us.” She understands that to make a change in a culture, you have to be part of that culture. She didn’t go it alone; she reached out to others of “us,” all across Appalachia, inviting them to come together to discuss our challenges, offer support and share our stories.
In May 2016 she birthed the idea of the Appalachian Breastfeeding Network, and in one short year she brought together multiple states in a coalition that will eventually shine a light on the dark aspects of our culture, the disparities rural women face from access to care barriers, health care abuse and neglect to intrapersonal violence, and very often loneliness. The network is focused on empowering women to make informed decisions about their own bodies, from contraception choices, how they will give birth, to how they will feed their child. It also includes how to demand health care providers who will help educate and support them. We will overcome the health care disparities in rural America, one beautiful…well informed and supported woman at a time.
For more information on Holzer Maternity Services, please call 1-855-4-HOLZER or visit www.holzer.org.
Submitted by Holzer Health System.