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Brookings Health Recognized for Excellence in Lactation Care with IBCLC Care Award

Brookings, S.D. – Aug. 2, 2021 – The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®) and International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) have recognized Brookings Health System for excellence in lactation care, the only organization in the Dakotas to earn the recognition.

Brookings Health System received the IBCLC Care Award in recognition for staffing professionals who hold the prestigious International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®) certification and providing a lactation program for breastfeeding families. In addition, the facility demonstrated it has recently completed activities that help protect, promote, and support breastfeeding.

Marin Skariah, Chair of the Board of IBLCE, recently stated, “Institutions that are awarded the IBCLC Care Award have dedicated their efforts to promote and provide a lactation program that makes expert assistance available when the breastfeeding family needs it. Through the presentation of this Award, IBLCE honors the work of IBCLCs around the world as they strive to advance global public health by providing expert lactation care to families and by promoting breastfeeding care to other healthcare professionals through advocacy and training.”

“As a Baby-Friendly designated hospital, we’re continuously looking for ways we can support mothers and babies with breastfeeding,” said OB Director Mary Schwaegerl. “We have two IBCLC nurses and two Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) nurses on staff to help mothers and babies with breastfeeding needs, including free assistance at our weekly New Beginnings Baby Café sessions. We also have the policies and procedures in place to encourage and support breastfeeding, including recently making donor breast milk available to babies born in need.”

IBCLCs focus on preventive care, so they are available during pregnancy to assess and provide information on how to successfully initiate breastfeeding. They continue that assistance after the baby is born by helping families overcome breastfeeding challenges, providing accurate information, and continuing to support them as their baby grows. They assist families returning to work or school, help families in more unusual situations such as breastfeeding more than one baby or nursing a sick or premature infant, and help train nursing staff to manage basic breastfeeding care. 

According to Sabeen Adil, MD, IBCLC, President of ILCA, “IBCLCs work tirelessly in all corners of the globe to help parents provide optimal nutrition to their children. We are proud to recognize some of these IBCLCs through the IBCLC Care Award, which highlights the significant contributions of IBCLCs to improving global health outcomes at the local level.”

For more information about the IBCLC Care Award program, contact IBLCE at [email protected]. More information about Brookings Health System’s OB unit, New Beginnings Birth Center, may be found online at brookingshealth.org/OB.

About Brookings Health System

Brookings Health System, located in Brookings, South Dakota, includes a 49-bed hospital, the 79-bed The Neighborhoods at Brookview nursing home, Brookhaven Estates senior living apartments, Yorkshire Eye Clinic & Optical, and medical clinics in Arlington, White and Volga, South Dakota. It is a non-profit, city-owned facility that offers the community a full range of inpatient, outpatient, emergency and extended care services. Brookings Hospital provides local access to doctors in Brookings and offers robotic da Vinci surgery and Mako robotic-arm assisted procedures, making it one of the premier rural community hospitals in South Dakota. For more information about the services offered at Brookings Health System, please call (605) 696-9000 or visit us on the Web at brookingshealth.org.

PHOTO: Brookings Health System received the IBCLC Care Award in recognition for staffing professionals who hold the prestigious International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®) certification and providing a lactation program for breastfeeding families. Brookings Health System’s lactation support team of registered nurses helps mothers successfully initiate breastfeeding in the hospital and also are available weekly for free breastfeeding assistance at New Beginnings Baby Café. Members of the lactation support team include: Aleycia Gerlach, IBCLC; Lindsay Koropatnicki, CLC; Nancy DeBoer, CLC; and Sara Klug, IBCLC.

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