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CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System Recognized for Lactation Care Services August 3, 2021

Texarkana, Texas – The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®) and International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) have once again recognized CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System for their focus on maternal health and excellence in lactation care.

The IBCLC Care award is presented biennially based on exceptional projects that improve and support breastfeeding in a community. CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System received the IBCLC Care Award in recognition of our two outstanding professionals who hold the prestigious International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®) certification and for providing a lactation program for breastfeeding families.

“We received the award in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, and now 2021, and we were the first hospital in Texarkana to earn this notable acknowledgment,” said Carole Harman, MSA, RN, BSN, FNP, CENP Administrative Director of Women’s & Children’s Service, CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System. “Importantly, this year we have been distinguished for our project of transition to a Mother/Baby unit in the hospital and for the tremendous positive impact this unit has on our new mothers. Our certified Lactation Consultants Klorisa Withers and Melissa Duncan and their ongoing work to help protect, promote and support breastfeeding are a crucial part of our contribution to healthy families in our community.”

“CHRISTUS St. Michael is a Texas Ten Step facility and a repeat recipient of the IBCLC Care Award, so we strive to improve the health of mothers and babies by encouraging breastfeeding as a preferred method of feeding for newborns and infants,” said Klorisa Withers, RN, BSN, IBCLC.

“Our recognitions validate the efforts being made by our facility to help mothers get off to a good start with breastfeeding and to support them in reaching their goals.”

Roberto Issler, IBCLC Chair of the Board of IBLCE, recently stated, “Agencies that are awarded the IBCLC Care Award have dedicated their efforts to promote and provide a lactation program that makes expert assistance available when the breastfeeding family needs it. This is achieved through encouraging and informing breastfeeding families about the benefits and management of breastfeeding as well as training health care professionals to assist families achieve their breastfeeding goals.”

IBCLCs focus on preventive care, so they are available during pregnancy to assess and provide information on how to successfully initiate breastfeeding. They continue that assistance after the baby is born by helping families overcome breastfeeding challenges, providing accurate information, and continuing to support them as their baby grows. They assist families returning to work or school, help families in more unusual situations such as breastfeeding more than one baby or nursing a sick or premature infant, and help train nursing staff to manage basic breastfeeding care.

According to Mudiwah A. Kadeshe, President of ILCA, “IBCLCs work tirelessly in all corners of the globe to help parents provide optimal nutrition to their children. We are proud to recognize some of these IBCLCs through the IBCLC Care Award, which highlights the significant contributions of IBCLCs to improving global health outcomes at the local level.”

As allied health care professionals with the leading internationally recognized certification for professional lactation services, IBCLC professionals work in hospitals and birthing centers, clinics, public health agencies, private practice, community settings, government agencies, and in research. There are currently more than 31,000 such professionals in 110 countries worldwide that are IBCLCs (www.iblce.org). The IBCLC certification program is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). NCCA accreditation represents a mark of quality for certification programs.