February 23, 2021
Contact: Tennille Collins, Mississippi Public Health Institute,
Jackson, Miss. — To help increase breastfeeding support, the Mississippi Public Health Institute (MSPHI) is investing a new grant into Gulf Coast and Delta communities to increase awareness and direct support for breastfeeding programs — two evidence-based interventions shown to help increase breastfeeding uptake.
In partnership with the Mississippi Breastfeeding Coalition and the state’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), the Making an Impact in the Lactation Community, or MILC, project will provide direct monetary support for breastfeeding professionals’ continuing education through a $150,000 one-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
“In Mississippi, the mentality around breastfeeding has evolved to be more supportive, but we still have a long way to go. We continue to see women that do not have the support from family members and the society in general,” said Eliana Glass,CLC, Mississippi Breastfeeding Coalition manager.
Despite public health consensus of its benefit, Mississippi has the lowest breastfeeding rate in the nation. Breastfeeding helps both mother and child by supporting bonding, transferring nutrients not found in formula and reducing likelihood of allergies and diabetes, but barriers to and disparities within breastfeeding persist. Investing in breastfeeding and newborns’ health can correlate to a lifetime of better health outcomes and save billions of dollars in healthcare spending.
“While working as a WIC Peer Counselor I was able to witness this firsthand — there is still a stigma about breastfeeding. We want to start by supporting the health professionals who are already doing this work to help mothers realize the health and financial benefits of breastfeeding, and helping connect women with breastfeeding resources,” Glass said. “This grant will help support breastfeeding professionals to advance their training and bring stakeholders together.”
Black women are less likely to breastfeed — in a state with already-low uptake rates and the largest share of Black births, more support is needed to help connect new mothers with breastfeeding support. Part of MSPHI’s community-based intervention efforts involve further identifying barriers to breastfeeding for Black women, such as misconceptions of breastfeeding, lack of support at home or workplace, and gaps between clinical-based patient education and community resources.
MSPHI has identified the following areas to foster increased rates for breastfeeding on the Gulf Coast as well as throughout other regions of the state, such as the Mississippi Delta:
- Develop a sustainable system for continuing education for lactation professionals in Mississippi
- Support policy education surrounding licensure for lactation professionals
- Develop a sustainable system for breastfeeding support for mothers and families by providing stipends to 20 WIC peer counselors throughout the state that will allow them to become International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs)
MILC builds off MSPHI’s current Gulf Coast investments, the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program, which is one of only 31 awards from CDC’s REACH umbrella. REACH supports collaborative efforts to improve the health and well-being of Black families, mothers and babies in Jackson, Hancock, and Harrison Counties. These partnerships help increase support and use of systems and services for chronic disease prevention, strengthen community support for breastfeeding and tobacco cessation. For additional information on the MILC project or REACH, contact Tennille Collins at email@example.com or (601) 398-4406. For more information on MSPHI, visit www.msphi.org.
About the Mississippi Public Health Institute: MSPHI is a nonprofit entity established in 2011 to protect and improve the health and well-being of Mississippians, serving as a partner and convener to promote health, improve outcomes and encourage innovations in health systems. We cultivate partnerships aimed at program innovation, health resources, education, applied research, and policy development.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal innovator and entrepreneur, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.
The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.
MSPHI has partnered with the Mississippi Department of Mental Health since 2018 to provide training and prevention services to combat the opioid crisis in Mississippi. Training is conducted for medical professionals, clinicians, families, and communities throughout the state. Topics for training include medication assisted treatment, screening for substance abuse, and innovative treatment practices. In addition, MSPHI is developing a cross agency plan and multi-agency data reporting system that will create a prevention, treatment and recovery resource for state agency planning and resource sharing.
This project has a special emphasis on pregnant and parenting women with substance use disorder. MSPHI contracts with a registered nurse to teach birthing, child development, parenting skills, and maternal health to pregnant and parenting women in substance use treatment facilities. MSPHI is working closely with other state entities to develop a directory of state resources to support the recovery efforts of these women.
Since 2011, the number of opioid deaths in Mississippi have risen significantly each year. The purpose of this project is to implement peer support services or Care Coordinators in the six geographically diverse regions that are selected for the MSDH telehealth services. MSPHI contracts with and provides ongoing training for the Care Coordinators, while building pathways to resources in the communities they serve. Care Coordinators are an essential component of a comprehensive continuum of substance use services, providing critical resources that can effectively extend, enhance, and improve clinical services. Care Coordinators work in a wide range of settings, providing emotional support and mentoring, information on recovery and support services, linkage to services and prosocial activities, and assistance with tasks to support recovery. The Care Coordinator often plays a key role in establishing and maintaining social connections to support individuals’ recovery in the community. The Care Coordinators are like the emergency room on the street for those battling substance abuse. Care Coordinators help those suffering from substance use disorder & their families navigate through the system and will work with local community stakeholders to develop relationships with local law enforcement, emergency medical service providers and courts with the goal of coordinating a Quick Response Team (QRT) in the region. The QRT’s main objective is aimed to reduce opioid abuse and the number of overdose fatalities by expanding law enforcement, first responder, drug court and treatment/recovery partnerships. The QRT’s membership will vary depending on individual attitudes regarding OUD/SUD treatment. Ideally, once a QRT is established, the Care Coordinator identifies the needs of the patient and provides recovery support and other community resources to individuals and their families, EMS members conduct wellness checks, and law enforcement staff provide safety and security during the visit. The Care Coordinator will go out with a member of law enforcement and/or paramedic to visit all the past weeks overdoses, offering resources for recovery, and/or offering to take them to treatment. The main objective of the project is to get the overdose survivor into treatment, reduce barriers to treatment, and follow up with treatment providers to monitor progress.
Under the guidance of the Mississippi Department of Mental Health, our prevention program focuses on the eight P’s of prevention: purpose, passion, participation, perseverance, perception, programs, policies, and power. Operating under a Substance Abuse Block Grant, our prevention specialist focuses on three prevention priorities: prescription drug use, alcohol use, and marijuana use across all age groups in Madison County by working in local schools and communities to facilitate substance abuse prevention services based on the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention Strategies. These include: prevention education, alternative activities, information dissemination, problem identification and referral, community-based process, and environmental and social policy.
The purpose of Overdose to Action (OD2A) is to collect comprehensive and timely data on nonfatal and fatal overdoses as a means to inform prevention and response efforts.” Insert this sentence before first sentence and change “Overdose to Action” in that sentence to “OD2A.
The opioid epidemic has had a profound effect on the citizens of Mississippi in relation to overdose deaths, economic impact, and behavioral health. Also, in partnership with the Mississippi Department of Mental Health, MSPHI provides essential workforce development and data analysis for the State Opioid Response grant. This data is used throughout the state to determine funding, policy, and strategic planning.
In partnership with the Mississippi Department of Health through the Overdose Data to Action grant, MSPHI provides essential prevention services to the state. Utilizing grass roots methods, high risk communities are developing coalitions for planning strategic change in their communities. In addition, MSPHI is working with Coastal Family Health to develop systems to support pregnant and parenting women in referral, treatment and recovery.