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August 2009

Griffin Breastfeeding Conference Press Release

August 4, 2009

Rush University Medical Center Hosts Conference Examining

Chicago Breastfeeding Rates and Ways to Reduce the Disparities

Experts from Illinois Department of Human Services, Chicago Department of Public Health and Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association to Speak

(CHICAGO) –Over 100 certified breastfeeding peer counselors, lactation consultants, nurses, physicians, dietitians and community health workers are expected to gather at Rush University Medical Center on Thursday, August 6 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. in Room 500 at 1725 W. Harrison Street, Chicago, to attend the Griffin Inaugural Conference on Breastfeeding:  The Primary Foundation for Health. 

At the conference, experts from Rush, Illinois Department of Human Services, Chicago Department of Public Health and Black Mothers’ Breast Feeding Association will discuss strategies for organizing Chicago communities to reduce breast feeding disparities.

¨      Dr.  Myrtis Sullivan, associate director of the Office of Family Health, Illinois Department of Human Services, will be discussing Chicago’s current breastfeeding rates and where there are gaps within the neighborhoods and communities of Chicago

¨      Dr. Terry Mason, commissioner, Chicago Department of Public Health, is scheduled to speak about the importance of breastfeeding to the reduction in health risks throughout the lifespan.  Recent studies show that breastfeeding reduces the risk for infection, obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases throughout the lifespan, and as such is the primary foundation for health.

¨      Keynote speaker Kiddada Ramey, president of the Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association in Detroit, Mich., will give a feature presentation on effective strategies for community breastfeeding.  Ramey will also address reasons why African American women breastfeed at lower rates than other populations in the United States.


  Breastfeeding Conference

“By bringing experts in the field together for this conference, we will identify hospital-community partnership strategies to increase the rates of breastfeeding initiation and duration among Chicago women,” said Paula Meier, director for clinical research and lactation in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Rush.

“Our goal is to identify geographic areas and populations within Chicago neighborhoods that have low rates of breastfeeding and to discuss the most effective ways we can reduce those breastfeeding disparities,” said Meier.

Anne and Ken Griffin are sponsoring the event. 

Continuing education credits applied for from the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners.  Rush University College of Nursing is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Illinois Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.  This CNE activity is being offered for 4.2 contact hours. 

The conference cost is $25.  For more information or to register for the event, please call 312-942-4932.