Wellmark Foundation grant
funds breastfeeding initiative
Grant, chosen from 150 requests, aims to boost breastfeeding
among new mothers
January 24, 2011
(Des Moines, Iowa) – The Wellmark
Foundation awarded a $25,000 two-year grant to the Mitchell
Area Charitable Foundation in Mitchell, S.D. to implement
a wellness and prevention program focused on increasing breastfeeding
among new mothers.
The Wellmark Foundation is a non-profit foundation that seeks
to improve the health of Iowans, South Dakotans, and their
communities. The Foundation provides support to non-profit
and public entities to help local communities establish or
expand health initiatives. Through its 2010 Healthy Communities
Grant Program, the Foundation received nearly 150 grant requests.
This grant award represents one of the 17 grants competitively
awarded to support projects throughout Iowa and South Dakota.
Cumulatively, The Wellmark Foundation is proud to award $1,334,817
to these 17 grants to serve as catalyst funding for local
“Breastfeeding holds great promise to improve the health
of young children,” says Matt McGarvey, the Foundation’s
director. “The Wellmark Foundation is proud to support
this community based approach to educate new mothers on the
importance of breastfeeding, boost kids’ immune systems,
and lower their overall health risks.”
The goal of the project is to expand breastfeeding education
in the Mitchell community in order to increase the breastfeeding
rate among new mothers who deliver in the area to 75 percent,
and to improve the success rate so mothers will breastfeed
for a longer period of time. Raising awareness on the importance
of breastfeeding in the Mitchell area will create positive
outcomes for breastfeeding mothers as well as their children.
The long-term results of increased breastfeeding education
will be better health and stronger immune systems for more
children, and lower health risks for more mothers.
The program will feature promotion of the new certified lactation
consultant and services, including hand-on assistance and
education in the hospital, as well as follow-up phone calls,
newborn weight checks, and home visits in cooperation with
the Avera Queen of Peace Home Health Agency after discharge.
Classes, videos, community health fairs, community presentations,
educational materials and gifts will be used to promote lactation
consultant services to new and expecting mothers.
Project leaders will partner with community health nurses
to promote breastfeeding to Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
clients and provide them with educational materials as well
as access to breast pumping equipment. Classes will be taught
in Fort Thompson and Lower Brule twice a year to increase
breastfeeding education within the Native American population
in the area.
About Mitchell Area Charitable Foundation
The Mitchell Area Charitable Foundation was formed in 1985
to create a convenient and reliable means for individuals
or companies to make lasting contributions to areas of need
in Mitchell and the surrounding area.
For more information on the Mitchell Area Charitable Foundation,
contact Jay Tolsma, (605) 996-7717 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information regarding the Wellmark Foundation and
its grant programs, visit www.wellmark.com/foundation.