2014 Annual Meeting- Register Now!

Please join us for the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition.  The meeting will be held at Memorial Hospital in Savannah, Georgia on Friday, April 25th from 11 am-1 pm.  A light lunch will be served.  If you are unable to travel to Savannah, please join the meeting via webinar.

RSVP now: Contact GBC Board Member and meeting registrar, Chrysta Andrews at 678-696-2247 cbandrews@dhr.state.ga.us

Reserve your Webinar seat now at  https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/929126479

Click here for a printable flyer to share: annual meeting flyer 2014

Winter Webinar

Please join us for a free informational webinar on Thursday, February 20th, 2014.  Our topic is The History of Infant Feeding: Stories and Myths presented by Theresa Brown, IBCLC, lactation consultant at Hamilton Medical Center.  Reserve your Webinar seat now at https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/519053311

Advocacy Opportunity from the US Breastfeeding Committee

Action Alert: Help us send 5,000 letters telling Congress that breastfeeding success shouldn’t depend on a mom’s job type!

Currently, federal law requires employers to provide nursing mothers who are hourly wage-earners (“nonexempt” employees) reasonable break time and a private, non-bathroom location to express breast milk for one year after the child’s birth. Yet this provision does not cover “exempt” or salaried employees. The Supporting Working Moms Act would ensure a fair and uniform national policy by extending the existing federal provision to cover approximately 12 million executive, administrative, and professional employees, including elementary and secondary school teachers.

We’re already halfway to our goal! Help us reach 5,000 messages to Congress by sharing this link with a friend, family member, or coworker today: www.usbreastfeeding.org/swma13-action

Governor Deal Proclaims August 2013 is Breastfeeding Month in Georgia

Governor Deal and breastfeeding advocates, August 7 2012

Governor Deal and breastfeeding advocates, August 7 2012

Twenty-six breastfeeding advocates from across the state, joined by 13 breastfed babies and children and several grandmothers, gathered in the State Capitol in Atlanta on a rainy morning to thank Governor Nathan Deal for proclaiming August 2013 as Breastfeeding Month in Georgia.  Holding the proclamation with the Governor is Dr. Seema Csukas of the Department of Public Health.   Click here to read this years  updated proclamation!  Next year we’d like to get more fathers out to participate.   Enjoy the rest of World Breastfeeding Month!

Governor Deal Signing Breastfeeding Month Proclamation August 7th

Breastfeeding Awareness Month 2013
On very short notice, Governor Nathan Deal has agreed to a photo op ‘signing’ of the Proclamation of August as Breastfeeding Month in Georgia on WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 7th at 11:30 am.  The Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition would love to see many breastfeeding supporters and nursing mothers and babies. Pass the word along!  We will gather in the Capitol Rotunda from 11-11:15 am.  Parking is available in nearby lots; please bring photo id to enter the capitol building.
What a great way to wrap up World Breastfeeding Week!  Please email Claire Eden, Georgia Breastfeeding Coordinator, with any questions and to RSVP so we can give the Governor’s office an estimate on attendance: ceden@gaaap.org
Thank you Governor Deal!

Governor Purdue with breastfeeding advocates in 2010.

Governor Purdue with breastfeeding advocates in 2010.

2013 Breastfeeding Friendly Physician of the Year

Richard Spanjer, MD

Dick Daily Citizen Breastfeeding award
On Tuesday, March 26th, the Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition (GBC)  honored Dalton pediatrician, Richard Spanjer, MD with the 2013 GBC Physician Award for Breastfeeding Support, at their Annual Meeting Dinner.

The Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition Physician Award for Breastfeeding is given each year to a doctor who supports breastfeeding by educating mothers, supporting research and legislation related to lactation, offering community and peer support programs and who has an office that is baby-friendly.

Dr. Richard Spanjer has done all the above while serving the families of Dalton and the surrounding area for over 35 years.  According to his many admiring patient families, Dr Spanjer is known for his kindness and consideration and his unflagging belief in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Dr. Spanjer was born in 1943 in Cedartown, GA.  He grew up there and then attended the University of Colorado for his undergraduate degree.  Medical school saw him attending Emory University in Atlanta.  His internship and residency were at Grady Memorial Hospital and Henrietta Egleston Children’s Hospital, both in Atlanta.  In 1971, while at Grady, he met and married his wife, Patty, a pediatric nurse.  They have five children, the first born while working at the Navajo Indian Reservation in the mid 70’s and the other four born after moving to Dalton, GA and joining the practice of Pediatrics of Dalton in 1976.  Dr Spanjer remains a partner of that practice and an active pediatrician to this day.

Other nominees include Eric Karlen, MD, Marietta; Joshua Lane, MD, Augusta;
Ramon Ramos, MD, Savannah
Brenda Marino, MD, Marietta
Mia Armstrong, MD, Albany
Rachel Lipson, MD, Cobb
Andrew Tucker, MD, Savannah
Robert Wiskind, MD, Atlanta
Kathryn McLeod, MD, Augusta
Angela Felany, MD, Ellijay
Allison Ward, MD, Ellijay
Maribel Angka-Servera, MD, Alpharetta
Greg McHan, MD, Blue Ridge
Daniel Rojas, MD, Ellijay
Bridget Dauphin, MD, Douglasville
Flavia Mercado, MD, Atlanta
Marilyn Kaufman, MD, Douglasville
Ehteshamul Huque, MD, Douglasville
Terri McFadden, MD, Atlanta
Alice Caldwell, MD, Augusta
Vaishali Kute, MD, Dunwoody

Annual Meeting Minutes

Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition

Annual Meeting

March 26, 2013

2:00 PM-4:00 PM



Attendees: 34 physically / 10 via webinar

Location: Dalton/Gaston Community Center, Dalton GA


  1. Welcome
  • Pam Holland opened the meeting and introduced the board members.
  • Pam read names of nominating committee, and requested a volunteer to re-write the GBC by-laws. Leah Aldridge volunteered.
  • The minutes from the 11/14/2012 meeting were approved.
  • For the period November ‘12-March ‘13, there has been $500 receipts and $316.97 in disbursements. The current cash balance is $6,190.37. (See attached Cash Flow Statement.) The financial report was approved.
  • SELCA – Liane Varnes
  1. Minutes & Financial Report
  1. Partner Reports

Liane reported on current membership numbers, upcoming meetings, and free trainings available on their website, www.SELCA.info.

  • La Leche League – Amanda Walker

Amanda gave an overview of the Ga LLL group’s peer support meetings, breastfeeding resources, and phone/email support. For more information visit their website, www.LLLofGA.org.

  • Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies – Leah Aldridge

Leah gave an overview and update of the Ga IBCLC Licensure, HB 363: Lactation Practice Act. The Executive Summary of the bill is available on the HMHB website, www.hmhbga.org.

  • Baby Friendly 5 Star Incentive Program – Marcia Hunter, DPH / Debi Miller, Doctor’s Hospital

Marcia gave an overview and update of the program. Nine of the ten hospitals that were selected are still in the program. The grant year ends in September this year. Debi gave an update on her hospital’s progress in program. Their goal is to have 80% of their staff trained by September.

  • EPIC Breastfeeding Education Program – Arlene Toole

Arlene gave an overview of the EPIC BF program hosted by the Ga Chapter AAP. For more information visit the EPIC website, www.gaepic.org.

  1. Project Reports
  • New Website: Kat Chiu gave an update on the GBC website, www.georgiabreastfeedingcoalition.org. Please visit the website and submit your comments/suggestions to Kat. (See attached Website Critique spreadsheet.)
  • World Breastfeeding Week Proclamation: Kat reported that the proclamation is scheduled to be completed by the first week in August. If you have copies of previous proclamations, please forward them to Kat, amcbe@comcast.net.
  • Business Case for Breastfeeding: Carol Hendrix gave an update and reported that there are 10 breast pumps left for distribution to businesses who want to set-up a work lactation room for their breastfeeding employees.


Claire Eden also reported that a grant was awarded by the Ga Health Foundation to promote the business case in select counties in Georgia. Contact Claire if you want to partner with her on this initiative.

  • Physician Award: Arlene Toole reported on the 2013 Breastfeeding Friendly Physician Award nominees. The winner is Dr. Richard Spanjer, pediatrician from Dalton.
  • Breastfeeding Resources Database: Claire Eden reported that the GBC was awarded a grant by the Healthcare Georgia Foundation to develop breastfeeding resources for physicians and mothers.


Another grant was awarded by US Breastfeeding Committee for a special project called “Continuity of Care”. Contact Claire for more information.

  • IBCLC Development Taskforce: Kathy Sasser gave an overview of the taskforce goals to support IBCLCs seeking licensure, and others seeking IBCLE certification.
  1. Local Coalition Reports

The following coalitions reported on their activity in their communities:

  • NW Georgia: Patty Spanjer
  • Tri-Community: Carolyn Bentley
  • NE Georgia: Keir-Lynn Gensler
  • SW Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition: Sarah Shiver
  • North Georgia Regional Breastfeeding Advocacy Group: Kerry Smith
  • Formation of new coalition in Cobb-Douglas: Claire Eden
  1. 6.      Closing Comments / Next Meeting Date / Adjourn
  • Pam Holland closed the meeting at 4:20pm.
  1. 7.      Break Out Sessions
  • After the meeting was adjourned, attendees separated into work groups that have projects they are interested in being involved with.

Letter of Support for Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia

January 28, 2012


Re: Letter of Support for Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia, Inc. to pursue breastfeeding licensure and reimbursement for International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) in the State of Georgia


To Whom It May Concern:


The Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition (GBC) would like to express its support of the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia in their pursuit of licensure for International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs).


The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding recommends licensure of lactation consultants; the time has come to set forth the important roles and responsibilities of clinicians, employers, communities, researchers, and government leaders and for us all to make a commitment to enable mothers to meet their personal goals for breastfeeding.


The mission of the Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition is to improve and maintain the health of Georgia’s families by protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding;  we feel that expanding access to care through the licensing of lactation consultants would help move us closer to our vision of making breastfeeding the cultural and social norm throughout Georgia.


Increased breastfeeding rates have the potential to lower U.S. healthcare costs by up to $13 billion each year. Research shows that mothers who have access to IBCLCs have higher breastfeeding initiation and duration rates.


We are pleased that Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies of Georgia is working towards the licensure and reimbursement of IBCLCs in Georgia.  We appreciate your commitment to educating the public about the importance of breastfeeding.


Thank you on behalf of the Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition.





Pamela Holland, BSEd, IBCLC, RLC


Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition



Fall Meeting Minutes

Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition
Fall Meeting
November 14, 2012
11:30 AM-1:30 PM


Attendees: 31 physically / 31 via webinar
Location: Phoebe East Meeting Room, Albany GA

1. Welcome
• Kathy Kerce opened the meeting.
2. Minutes & Financial Report
• The minutes from the 6/6/2012 meeting were approved.
• For the period June-October, there has been $0 receipts and $1,446.43 in disbursements. The current cash balance is $6,007.34. (See attached Cash Flow Statement doc.)
3. Action Group Reports
• Action group leaders gave an overview of their work group: (See attached GBC Slides handout doc.)
o Media/Advocacy/Awareness, Kat Chiu, Board of Directors
o Maternity Care Practices, Debra Knight, Board of Directors
o Worksite, Carol Hendrix, Board of Directors
o Peer Support, Sabrina Serna, Board of Directors
o Professional Support, Arlene Toole, Board of Directors
o Maternal & Family Education, Shannon Blankenship, Acting Chair
• Kat Chiu introduced the new coalition website and gave a brief overview – www.georgiabreastfeedingcoalition.org.
• Arlene Toole gave an overview of the GBC Physician Award for Breastfeeding Support form. (See attached Physician Award handout doc.)
4. Partner Reports
• SELCA – Shannon Blankenship
Shannon spoke on benefits of joining SELCA (South East Lactation Consultants Association).
• La Leche League – Dawn Burke
Dawn gave an overview of what La Leche Legue does. To find a leader in your area, visit www.LLLofGa.org.
• Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies – Ca’Sandra Phillips
Ca’Sandra presented on the business case for IBCLC licensure and reimbursement in Georgia. To sign the on-line petition, visit www.Change.org, and for more information and updates visit, www.hmhbga.org.
• Breastfeeding Peaches – Nirvana Harley Jennette
Nirvana presented on the mission of the group and their goal in enforcing breastfeeding protection laws in Georgia, and eventually in all 50 states. To volunteer, sign petition, and for more information, visit www.bfgeorgia.org.
• DeKalb Medical Center – Jamie Ray, RN IBCLC
Jamie reported on DeKalb Medical’s progress towards Baby Friendly Hospital designation.
5. Local Coalition Reports
The following coalitions reported on their activity in their communities:
• NW Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition – Carol Hendrix
• SW Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition – Sara Shiver
• NE Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition – Liane Varnes
• Community Breastfeeding Coalition (Athens) – Ann Sears
• Heart of Georgia Healthy Start Breastfeeding Coalition – Nadia Tucker
• Tri-Community Breastfeeding Coalition – Carolyn Bentley
6. Closing Comments / Next Meeting Date / Adjourn
• The next coalition meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, 3/26 in the afternoon; in conjunction with NW Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition conference in Dalton, Ga. Save the date and plan your travel budget now!
• Kathy Kerce closed the meeting.
7. Break Out Sessions
• After the meeting was adjourned, attendees separated into their action groups and discussed action plans with their group’s chairperson.

GBC Seeks Greater Awareness of Georgia’s Law



Claire Eden, BA, IBCLC, RLC

Coordinator, Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition


Atlanta, GA, September 21, 2012- Breastfeeding is not only the normal way to feed infants and young children- it is also an essential component of public health.  Nursing mothers need community support to reach their breastfeeding goals.  Georgia mothers and babies are protected by Ga. Code An. § 31-1-9 which states, “The breastfeeding of ababy is an important and basic act of nurture which should be encouraged in the interests of maternal child health. A mother may breastfeed her baby in any location where the mother and baby are otherwise authorized to be.”

Recent events have made it clear that many businesses in Georgia are unaware of the protection nursing mothers are afforded via state law.  The vision of the Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition is that breastfeeding becomes the cultural and social norm throughout Georgia. Breastfeeding is a valuable Georgia resource.

The Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition is a group of health professionals, public health organizations, lactation consultants, breastfeeding advocates and nursing mothers who seek to collaboratively protect, promote and support breastfeeding in order to improve and maintain the health of Georgia’s families. For more information about the Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition visit www.GeorgiaBreastfeedingCoalition.org.