Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (CGBI)

Breastfeeding Exclusive Summer 2020 - Director's Letter

Dear Friends, Colleagues and Supporters,

Catherine Sullivan

Catherine Sullivan

The words transformation, pivot, fear, exhaustion, strength, courage, and gratitude come to mind as I reflect on the journey, we have been on over the last 5 months. The challenges and opportunities that have been thrown our way have helped us grow as an organization, and as individuals. I find myself sitting in deep reflection absorbing the rollercoaster of events we have experienced and continue to experience. I want to express deep gratitude for our CGBI team for their continued and tireless dedication to our work despite the changing environment all around us. CGBI seeks to promote increased quality of care and create an optimal breastfeeding norm through research, service, and training. Our mission is needed now more than ever and is fully aligned with the August National Breastfeeding Month 2020 theme: Many Voices United. We are proud to be a part of the Gillings community, leading public health efforts around the pandemic and being bold in spaces that make many uncomfortable. During this time of racial awakening in the United States, we strive to contribute to solutions addressing racism and inequity. Please read Dean Barbara Rimer’s June post on Black Lives Matter.

In this issue of our newsletter we share project updates that highlight the transformations we have made across projects to relieve some of the burdens felt by our partners and collaborators. Our COVID-19 activities have had far reaching impact and support the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action World Breastfeeding Week theme, “Support Breastfeeding for a Healthier Planet”.

Congratulations to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University on the recent CAAHEP accreditation of their Pathway 2 Lactation Program. Launching this fall, NCAT will be the 2nd Historically Black College or University in the United States to have an accredited lactation training program. Read more in the RISE project update in this issue of Breastfeeding Exclusive. As we move into the fall and a return to campus for some, we welcome 14 new students into our accredited pathway 2 lactation training program.  Despite the challenges of the last few months we had a record number of applicants for the incoming cohort.  Conference season has shifted to the virtual environment and CGBI team members will be presenting at national meetings, ILCA and APHA, as well as local events, NC Lactation Consultant Association’s breastfeeding summit and the Region 6 Breastfeeding Symposium.

Flamingo Baby Hendricks!

Join me in welcoming two new CGBI team members. Eliana Mundul has joined CGBI as our first official Communications Specialist.  Eliana comes to CGBI from private industry where she was a leader in marketing, domestically and globally. Eliana started in June and has already started to tackle many of our communications goals. Welcome to our honorary new team member, Ms. Olivia Garrett Hendricks, daughter of Michelle and Courtland Hendricks. She made her debut on April 7, 2020.

Katie Wouk’s older daughter, Juno, helps deliver breastmilk to the WakeMed Mothers Milk Bank.

Lastly, kudos to Post Doc Dr. Katie Wouk on collecting enough milk to make a donation to the local milk bank, a goal of hers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Enjoy this edition of the Breastfeeding Exclusive newsletter. Stay safe, bold and brave, we stand with you.


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