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Medela Announces 2011 Breastfeeding Hall of Excellence Inductees to Nationally Recognize Exceptional Breastfeeding Advocates

MCHENRY, Ill., Aug. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In conjunction with World Breastfeeding Week, Medela is proud to honor the hard work, dedication and best practices of US-based lactation consultants and breastfeeding advocates. The company today announced the induction of two new members to the Breastfeeding Hall of Excellence: Madeleine Sigman-Grant, Las Vegas, Nev. and Kathleen Moren, Providence, R.I.

"As the world focuses this week on the importance of breastfeeding, we are thrilled to honor these exceptional professionals who have committed much of their personal and professional lives to promoting breastfeeding and working to improve the health of women and their children every day," said Medela President Carolin Archibald. "Breastfeeding initiation and duration rates are on the rise – which means more mothers are breastfeeding, and for longer. That is great news and is due in large part to professionals and advocates like the women we are honoring today."

Since the program began in 2006 (known then as the Lactation Consultant Hall of Excellence), it has recognized professionals who exemplify best practices and outstanding dedication to their profession. Inspired by the efforts shared by previous nominees, Medela expanded the program this year to honor other health care professionals and community breastfeeding advocates who work collaboratively to support breastfeeding.

Inductees will be honored during receptions this week in Las Vegas, Nev. and Providence, R.I. Each will receive a 2011 Breastfeeding Hall of Excellence plaque and award as well as a $5,000 grant to fund research, continue education, purchase equipment for use in their practice or donate to the breastfeeding charity of their choice.

2011 Breastfeeding Hall of Excellence Inductees:

Inductee Kathleen Moren, RN, BSN, IBCLC: Nominated in the Lactation Consultant category, Moren has had a career-long history of supporting breastfeeding. An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) in private practice for 11 years, Moren is the past Chair of the Rhode Island Breastfeeding Coalition (RIBC). She is the recipient of the RIBC Creme de la Creme award and the Rhode Island Birth Network Award for Extraordinary Service. In 2010, she started a Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) pump program that provides hospital grade pumps to exclusively breastfeeding moms returning to work or school. This year she was appointed to the Rhode Island Healthcare Reform Commission and is working to incorporate the lactation support required by the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 into Rhode Island health care, as well as obtain licensing for IBCLCs in Rhode Island so that they can be reimbursed by insurance for their services. Through a federal grant she secured to distribute "The Business Case for Breastfeeding Toolkit" to employers, Moren partnered with the University of Rhode Island-ADVANCE Program to showcase its lactation program to other universities as a model of excellence in workplace breastfeeding support.

"My mission is to help mothers achieve success in their breastfeeding goals by providing them with the information and assistance they need to be confident in their ability to breastfeed and care for their children," said Kathy Moren, RN, BSN, IBCLC. "I am honored to accept this recognition from my peers and intend to use the award to continue to help ensure access to breastfeeding support is available to all who need it."

Inductee Madeleine Sigman-Grant, PhD, RD: Nominated in the Professional Breastfeeding Advocate category, Sigman-Grant has been a leader in the breastfeeding community for decades. Currently heavily involved in the Nevada statewide breastfeeding coalition, she also works with University of Nevada, Reno Medical School residents, OB/GYN offices and local hospitals to promote human milk as the first choice for infant nutrition. She is also a member of the Maternal Child Health Coalition of Nevada and was just recently awarded the Nevada Outstanding Dietitian award for 2011.

Sigman-Grant was instrumental in establishing the statewide Breastfeeding Taskforce of Nevada nearly 10 years ago. Previously serving as the president and vice president of the Taskforce, she now serves as a member-at-large in an advisory role. Sigman-Grant is extensively published with articles appearing in Journal of Human Lactation, Pediatrics and the Journal of Nutritional Education and Behavior.

"It has been a long journey since those days when few mothers were breastfeeding. Much progress has been made and I feel blessed to have been a small part of this change. There is still much work to be done with mothers, their families and health care professionals," said Madeleine Sigman-Grant, PhD, RD. "Combined with ongoing research into human milk and the myriad of benefits to mothers and babies, I am encouraged that new moms will find the support they need to nurture and nourish their infants. I am honored to have been nominated by my peers for this award and more importantly, to have worked with so many passionate and committed mothers."

More than 100 lactation consultants and breastfeeding advocates were nominated this year. Inductees were chosen by an independent judging panel comprised of respected lactation consultants and professional and community breastfeeding advocates including: Jennifer Thomas, MD, FAAP, IBCLC; Paula Sisk, PhD, RD, IBCLC; and Julie Hamilton, CLC and 2010 Mrs. Nashville whose platform was breastfeeding preparedness. The panel was solely responsible for judging entries and selecting the program inductees after reviewing dozens of letters of support from other professionals and breastfeeding mothers who contributed to the nomination process.

The Breastfeeding Hall of Excellence accepts nominations in three categories, Lactation Consultant, Professional Breastfeeding Advocate and Community Breastfeeding Advocate. This year qualifying submissions were entered in two of the three categories. Those nominated in the Lactation Consultant (LC) category must be practicing International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) in the United States and be nominated by a peer and breastfeeding mother for their role as an exceptional professional. The Professional Breastfeeding Advocate is not a board-certified lactation consultant; however, fully supports breastfeeding in their professional position. This advocate is nominated by a peer and breastfeeding mother for their outstanding work in supporting breastfeeding. The Community Advocate is someone who works either locally, regionally or nationally to support breastfeeding. In their professional position, however, the advocate does not solely serve the breastfeeding population.

About Medela

Medela provides the most technologically advanced, superior-quality breast pumps and breastfeeding accessories to nursing mothers around the world. A longtime champion of breastfeeding, Medela is the only company to develop products based on research by the world's leading lactation experts. As a result, Medela's breastpumps are the number one choice of healthcare professionals and healthcare facilities worldwide, including more than 80 percent of U.S. hospitals.

Medela has developed an extensive line of products to meet the diverse needs of nursing mothers. These products include hospital-grade, double and single electric and manual breastpumps; breastfeeding accessories such as pump cleaning products, breast care products and specialty feeding devices; and maternity and nursing intimate apparel.

Founded in 1961 by Olle Larsson in Zug, Switzerland, Medela continues to grow under the ownership of the Larsson family. Medela serves customers through a worldwide network of distribution partners in more than 90 countries and its 15 subsidiaries in the United States, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Germany, Sweden, France, Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg), Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, Poland, China and Spain. The company entered the United States more than 30 years ago; its U.S. headquarters are located in McHenry, Illinois.

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