WEBINAR - Bridging the Gap: A Partnership Between a Hospital System and Public Health (WIC) Breastfeeding Peer Counselors and Staff

Bridging the Gap: A Partnership Between a Hospital System and Public Health (WIC) Breastfeeding Peer Counselors and Staff

Hospitals can develop partnerships with community agencies or groups that facilitate early, ongoing breastfeeding support following hospital discharge. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) breastfeeding peer counselors are an essential source of this support in many global communities. Aims/Purpose: The presentation will explain the innovation of how a health system of 8 hospitals, three Health Districts WIC breastfeeding peer counseling programs, and a university collaborated to improve breastfeeding support within their communities.  The purpose was to ease the transition from hospital to home for the breastfeeding dyad by establishing organizational structures and processes that facilitated ongoing breastfeeding support in the community. Narrative: Establishing breastfeeding community partnerships all over the world are essential to the development of sustainable community strategies that can offer mothers access to effective breastfeeding support. A referral pathway was developed to facilitate the peer counselors’ ability to offer early support by giving them access to mothers before hospital discharge. Process maps and authorization forms were developed through dialogue with key stakeholders (e. g. hospital leadership, nurses, physicians, and WIC breastfeeding staff) will be shown. Conclusion: The primary outcome of this program was to evaluate the feasibility of the process, which was successfully implemented with no added costs.  Additionally, this program provided an innovative approach to delivering ongoing breastfeeding support to vulnerable populations and guidance for nurses in establishing community partnerships that benefit their patients.

Credit: 1 L CERPs and 1 Contact Hours

Source: ILCA Webinar 14 May 2019 

Presented by: Cindi Bennett MN, RN, IBCLC & Cindy Galloway, RDN, LD, IBCLC

Upon completion, the learner will be able to:

  • Identify key components to developing a sustainable community partnership between a hospital and WIC breastfeeding peer counselors/staff to provide ongoing breastfeeding support in the hospital and after hospital discharge.
  • Explore developing a process for hospital visitation by WIC peer counselors/staff.
  • Discuss the process for WIC peer counselors/staff to receive education on late preterm infants to provide referrals for improved breastfeeding support.

Learning Level: Beginner/Intermediate

Disclosures: ILCA accepts no commercial support for continuing education activities. The activity planners have no conflicts of interest to declare. The presenter has no significant financial interest or other relationship with the manufacturer(s) of any product(s) or provider(s) of any services relating to the subject matter of this presentation unless otherwise stated below.

CERPs: ILCA is an approved provider of Continuing Education Recognition Points (CERPs) with the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE). (CLT-108-7).

ANCC: ILCA is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. (ILCA-P0286). Accepted for BRN credit by the Board of Registered Nursing.

CDR: The CDR accepts hours without prior CDR approval and recognizes approval by the ANCC. When recording hours on the CDR Activity Log, indicate the provider as "ILCA (ANCC)."

Cindi Bennett


Cindi Faith Bennett, MN, RN, IBCLC has spent her nursing career focused on the mother baby breastfeeding dyad population. She has extensive knowledge of the unique challenges faced by the high risk, preterm, late preterm and full-term breastfeeding dyad populations with an emphasis on the late preterm infant. She developed the lactation department in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the largest Children’s Hospital in the state of Idaho and currently is developing a lactation program in a new sister hospital with a focus on a “Well Breastfeeding” which includes prenatal, hospital and follow up care for 6 months. She established and implemented the first human milk donation center in the state of Idaho and helped establish milk donation centers in Utah and Colorado.  She received her Masters of Nursing in Population Health in 2016 from Boise State University.  The innovative program described in this presentation was first developed and piloted as her Masters project.  This program has grown to include eight health system hospitals and three health districts.  Her passion is helping breastfeeding dyads in their journey.  She is the mother of 6 children and a grandmother to 12.  She and her husband Doug enjoy the outdoors and ministry work in Peru.

Cindy Galloway


Cindy Galloway, RDN, LD, IBCLC, is a Senior Public Health Registered Dietitian and the Breastfeeding Coordinator and Peer Counseling Manager for the WIC Program at Central District Health Department located in Boise, Idaho. She is on the Board for the Idaho Breastfeeding Coalition and facilitates the Idaho Treasure Valley Breastfeeding Coalition. She coauthored Education for WIC Peer Counselors about Breastfeeding the Late Preterm Infant published in the Journal of Nutrition, Education and Behavior.  She was a speaker at the 2018 National WIC Association Annual Education and Training Conference. She co-chaired the First Annual Idaho Breastfeeding Summit. Under her leadership her WIC Agency was the Recipient of the Gold Premier United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Services WIC Loving Support Award of Excellence for Exemplary Breastfeeding Support and Practices. Her passion is helping mothers to successfully breastfeed. She is the mother of 9 children and grandmother to 28.  She plays the organ and loves to swim, kayak, and snow ski with her husband Dave.


Recorded 05/14/2019
Recorded 05/14/2019
7 Questions
1.00 L CERP credit  |  Certificate available
1.00 L CERP credit  |  Certificate available