Northwest Mothers Milk Bank Opens the First Donor Human Milk Bank in the Northwest

Grand Opening Event July 11, 2013 - 6:30 PM
The Lund Report

 

July 1, 2013 - A Grand Opening event will be held on Thursday, July 11, 2013, 6:30 - 8:00 P.M. at the Northwest Mothers Milk Bank (NWMMB), 417 SW 117th Ave., Portland, OR. The event is free and open to the public.  All are welcome to help celebrate the opening of the first, donor human milk bank in the Northwest.
 
At the opening event, Co-Directors Joanne Ransom and Lesley Mondeaux will present the Healthcare Champion Award to Providence Health & Services. Kathy Criswell, Executive Women/
Children’s Services, Providence Health & Services, will accept the award. 
 
“Providence Health & Services has been instrumental to NWMMB’s development. They have provided the foundation of physical space and services that have allowed us to open our doors,”said Lesley Mondeaux.  Other community hospital systems, foundations and individual donors have also contributed funding to NWMMB over its five year development phase.
 
Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward will be a guest speaker. Senator Steiner Hayward is a family physician at OHSU and serves as the President of the Oregon Academy of Family Physicians (OAFP) and as the Director of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Breast Health Education Program.
 
Northwest Mothers Milk Bank has hired staff, equipped its milk processing room and will begin pasteurizing donor human milk this month. “We have finalized our procedures and protocols to 
make sure our screening and processing are safe and effective for infants.” said Joanne Ransom, Co-Executive Director.
 
Until the opening of the Northwest Mothers Milk Bank, regional hospitals had to receive donor human milk from the two nearest milk banks--San Jose, California and Denver, Colorado. NWMMB 
is nonprofit milk bank accredited by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) and only the 12th US milk bank. 
 
Human milk provides optimal nutrition, promotes normal growth and development, and reduces the risk of illness and disease.  A HMBANA milk bank receives milk donated by mothers who have more milk than their babies need. The milk is screened, pasteurized and distributed, primarily to premature and sick babies whose mothers do not have sufficient milk. It is literally life-saving 
medicine to fragile, newborn infants.
 
All Portland area health systems with Neonatal Intensive Care Units use donor human milk as needed for their infants when mother’s own milk is not available. “Each drop of donated milk is a 
miracle. When the most fragile infants receive breast milk, they have lower risk of infections and life threatening intestinal complications. They leave the intensive care unit earlier, and later in life they have higher IQs and fewer developmental problems,” said Dr. Stefanie Rogers, Neonatologist Providence Health & Services, NWMMB Co-Medical Director.
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