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For Immediate Release
Contact: Sahira Long, MD
President, DC Breastfeeding Coalition
|October 26, 2012|
Third Annual Regional Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Awards Recognizes DC and Maryland Businesses
The D.C. and Maryland Breastfeeding Coalitions are pleased to announce the 2012 recipients of their Regional Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Awards. This year, the coalitions received their largest number of nominations ever, representing diverse businesses from across the region. Awardees will be receiving this honor on October 26, 2012 during a luncheon ceremony at D.C.'s Providence Hospital. This ceremony will be included as part of an all day D.C. Breastfeeding Promotion Mother-Baby Summit: Infant Feeding - Narrowing the Gap.
"Many mothers who choose to breastfeed stop short of reaching their personal and AAP-recommended goals. Many cite the fact that lactation support is unavailable in the workplace as the reason" says Dr. Sahira Long, President of the DC Breastfeeding Coalition (DCBFC). Research confirms that providing lactation support helps companies save money in health care expenses, reduces turnover rates, lowers absenteeism and increases employee loyalty. Employers with established workplace lactation programs have reported a 3:1 return on investment, as well as a more productive working environment.
The 2010 Affordable Health Care Act stipulates that employers must provide reasonable break time and a space, other than a bathroom, for a mother to express her milk. With the Regional Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Awards, the Maryland and DC Breastfeeding Coalitions seek to recognize the varying and creative ways in which businesses can support women in the workplace. "Each of the businesses receiving the Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Award serve as role models in the area as to how one can successfully support mothers who wish to continue to breastfeed once they have returned to work," says Dr. Dana Silver, Vice-President of the Maryland Breastfeeding Coalition (MBC), "This years' awardees represent the widest range yet - from a special education school, to theaters, to hospitals and universities, to federal government agencies. We are proud of them all!"
Businesses that met the criteria for workplace lactation support as outlined in HRSA's The Business Case for Breastfeeding, 2010 Affordable Health Care Act, and Healthy People 2020 goals could be nominated. Companies were judged based on their size and the accommodations they provided to breastfeeding employees (breastfeeding support and education, and the time and space for mothers to breastfeed and/or pump breast milk in the workplace). Based on the number of amenities and processes to support breastfeeding, businesses received the awards at Gold, Silver or Bronze level.
The recipients of this year's Regional Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Award include: AFI Silver Theatre, Central Special School, D.C. Department of Health, George Washington University, Holy Cross Hospital, Maryland Public Television, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, National Security Agency, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, Sodexo, Space Telescope Science Institute, Strathmore, United States Department of Agriculture, and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
For more information on the Regional Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Awards program, contact Dr. Sahira Long or Dr. Dana Silver. Please also see webstories and photos of the Workplace Award recipients on our websites, www.dcbfc.org and www.mdbfc.org