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For Immediate Release
Contact: Sahira Long, MD
President, DC Breastfeeding Coalition
February 3, 2011
Local businesses recognized for providing support to breastfeeding families
Washington, DC - On January 20, 2011, the U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin urged the entire nation to support breastfeeding and to remove the barriers that interfere with women reaching their breastfeeding goals. One of the Surgeon General Action Steps called for employers to provide worksite accommodations that support women when they return to work. "Many mothers who choose to breastfeed discontinue early because lactation support is unavailable in the workplace" says Dr. Sahira Long, President of the DC Breastfeeding Coalition (DCBFC).
The DCBFC supports the Surgeon General's Call to Action Steps with efforts to eliminate breastfeeding barriers in the workplace. With funding support from a grant received from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to conduct "Business Case for Breastfeeding" (BCBF) outreach activities, DCBFC and Maryland Breastfeeding Coalition (MBC) have worked in partnership to establish the "Regional Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Award Program". This new initiative recognizes local companies that provide a supportive work environment for breastfeeding families. Businesses that meet the criteria for workplace lactation support as outlined in the BCBF and Affordable Health Care Act and Healthy People 2020 will earn an award at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels, depending on their number of amenities and processes to support breastfeeding.
The award ceremonies will take place in February 2011 on the heels of the Surgeon General's Call to Action. The recipients of the Regional Workplace Lactation Awards are Anne Arundel County Department of Health, Anne Arundel Medical Center, Children's National Medical Center, Fairfax County Government, Georgetown University Hospital, Howard County Health Department, Johns Hopkins East Baltimore Medical Campus, Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and the University of Maryland Baltimore. "As businesses respond to the Surgeon General's Call to Action and provide better workplace accommodations for breastfeeding mothers, the DCBFC hopes to see more mothers continuing to breastfeed when they return to work" said Dr. Long.
For more information on the Call to Action, visit the Surgeon General's website www.surgeongeneral.gov. For more information on the Regional Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Awards Program, contact Dr. Sahira Long, President of the DCBFC at 202-470-2732.
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