Gillings School’s breastfeeding institute awarded major grant from The Duke Endowment

November 30, 2017

The Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (CGBI), based in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health’s maternal and child health department, has been awarded a 3-year, $830,000 grant from The Duke Endowment. The grant will be used to expand CGBI’s work with hospitals and communities in North and South Carolina for the purpose of promoting and supporting breastfeeding.

Catherine Sullivan

Catherine Sullivan

Catherine Sullivan, MPH, clinical assistant professor of maternal and child health at the Gillings School and CGBI’s director, is the project’s principal investigator.

“Breastfeeding is a major determinant of long-term health outcomes for mothers and infants,” Sullivan said. “Through The Duke Endowment-funded project, CGBI has potential to make an impact upon more than 25,000 births in the Carolinas by increasing the number of hospitals that make it easier for new mothers to breastfeed.”

CGBI will partner with participating hospitals and Population Health Improvement Partners to provide direct technical assistance and quality improvement methodology to ensure optimal maternity-care practices; support the hospitals as they pursue official state recognition and/or Baby-Friendly designation; and work with them to ensure the sustainability of lactation services in their respective communities.

CGBI also will:

  • Assist hospital systems in implementing prenatal education in their affiliated clinics;
  • Provide technical assistance for establishing outpatient lactation services; and
  • Offer training to child-care providers in those communities on CGBI’s pilot-tested “10 steps to breastfeeding friendly child care.”

“We are so appreciative of the Endowment’s support in this important area,” Sullivan said, “and we look forward to collaborating for sustainable change in the most vulnerable communities in the Carolinas.”

The project will serve up to twenty hospital communities over three years.

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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Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or dpesci@unc.edu