Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (CGBI)

Breastfeeding Exclusive Spring 2019 - New Funding

The Duke Endowment Invests over $5 million in Optimizing Maternity Care Practices in North and South Carolina: ENRICH Carolinas Expansion

ENRICH Carolinas Project Team

We are excited to report that CGBI has been awarded a grant from The Duke Endowment totaling just over $5 million US dollars to continue our work in the area of breastfeeding-friendly health care. The 5-year grant will help an unlimited number of NC and SC hospitals improve their maternity care practices, and lead to improved outcomes for families in the 2 states.

The current funding is considered an expansion of our current project, ENRICH Carolinas: Enriching Maternity Care Communities in the Carolinas, also funded by The Duke Endowment. The current project is working with 19 hospitals and their communities, piloting a unique coaching strategy that includes three aspects of community support beyond the hospital, as well as the expertise of the quality improvement professionals at Population Health Improvement Partners.

The new funding will allow any hospital in North or South Carolina to enroll in the project and receive five types of assistance: 1) Hospital-based coaching including site visits to improve maternity care practices, 2) Community-based support including training for prenatal clinics, area child care facilities, first responders, and community leaders, 3) Financial support including payment of fees related to Baby-Friendly USA designation thanks to matching funds from BCBSNC, and 4) Collaborative learning support where area hospitals come together to learn from national experts as well as one another 5) Stakeholder engagement building sustainable infrastructure for breastfeeding support.

CGBI Faculty Catherine Sullivan and Dr. Aunchalee Palmquist

CGBI Faculty, Dr. Aunchalee Palmquist, will be co-leading evaluation research for the project, assisted by CGBI Postdoctoral Researcher Dr. Katie Wouk. Through Dr. Palmquist’s involvement, project participants will also gain access to cutting edge resources for supporting infant feeding during emergencies through CGBI’s L.I.F.E. Support Kit.

The assistance available to hospitals will enable them to participate in one of two quality improvement programs related to maternity care practices: the Baby-Friendly designation process or the N.C. Division of Public Health’s recognition program for maternity care practices. The second option is for N.C. facilities only; there is not a state-run recognition program in S.C. Baby-Friendly USA (BFUSA) is the accrediting body and national authority for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in the United States.  As such, BFUSA is responsible for coordinating and conducting all activities necessary to confer the Baby-Friendly® designation and ensure widespread adoption of Baby-Friendly practices.  BFUSA will be working closely with this project to facilitate a clear understanding of the US Guidelines and Evaluation Criteria and designation processes among hospitals participating in the ENRICH program.

There will be three distinct periods of enrollment. Interested hospitals can submit an initial interest form via our website. To accommodate the coaching needs of hospitals in the two states, CGBI will be able to hire and train 3 additional coaches in the coming months. All positions will be posted within the Maternal and Child Health Department at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health with detailed job information and requirements. Please do not direct inquiries about positions directly to CGBI.

For those of you who knew Miriam Labbok, CGBI’s founder, you know her vision is being realized with this incredible opportunity to work with so many healthcare facilities toward improved maternity care practices supportive of optimal infant feeding. We are honored to be carrying on her work in this and other related areas, and are excited for this ‘history in the making’ – entrusted to us by The Duke Endowment.


Population Health Improvement Partners, a NC-based nonprofit organization, has successfully supported numerous major health promotion initiatives to measurably improve health for over 10 years. The Improvement Partners team provides technical assistance to partnerships in the Carolinas and across the country, assisting those who are addressing complex population health issues to identify and implement strategies, improve systems, measure return on investment, and assess impact. Specifically relevant to ENRICH, Improvement Partners will build on a longstanding and highly effective partnership with the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute to bring groundbreaking technical assistance and coaching to improve optimal nutrition for infants nationwide. 

About the Duke Endowment: Based in Charlotte and established in 1924 by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke, The Duke Endowment is a private foundation that strengthens communities in North Carolina and South Carolina by nurturing children, promoting health, educating minds and enriching spirits. Since its founding, it has distributed more than $3.4 billion in grants. The Endowment shares a name with Duke University and Duke Energy, but all are separate organizations.

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