|Calgary Mothers' Milk Bank website|
I'm pretty darned excited!
Calgary's human donor milk bank is being reestablished after 25+ years. It will be a community-based, not-for-profit organization providing screened and pasteurized donor human milk to babies in need when their own mother's milk is not available.
Spearheaded by Registered Nurse and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Jannette Festival, the milk bank will be overseen by a volunteer staff with Festival as Executive Director, Calgary-area family physician Dr. Douglas Caine as Medical Director, and financial director Anne Marie O'Gorman. These three volunteer staff members also sit on the milk bank's board of directors and are joined there by physicians Dr. Douglas Wilson, who is the head of the University of Calgary's Obstetrics and Gynaecology department, and pediatrician Dr. Douglas Yeung. *see update below
The milk bank will be part of North America's non profit milk bank association, HMBANA, and joins Canada's only other milk bank at B.C. Women's in Vancouver. Toronto's Sunnybrook hospital is also developing a milk bank but indicates it is several years away from opening, and Hema Quebec is also in the planning stages for milk banks in that province. (see Milk Sharing, Boon or Biohazard? in the February 2011 CMAJ.)
HMBANA has new system for mentoring its developing milk banks for up to two years, but the Calgary process is so far along it will be operating much sooner than that - word is equipment has been ordered and they're in the final stages of securing an operating space in the community.
An advisory board is also in place with neonatologist Dr. Jill Boulton, who is also a clinical peds professor at the U of C, Dr. James Kellner, the head of the U of C's peds department, Dr. Elizabeth MacKay, internal medicine/family practice, pharmacist and IBCLC Jennifer Peddlesden, who has long been active with various breastfeeding causes including the Breastfeeding Practice Interest Network for Pharmacists (Peddlesden was recently named 2011 Volunteer Citizen of the Year in her hometown of Chestermere), family physician Dr. Mary-Jo Woolgar, and Marilyn Young, RN.
Congratulations to Jannette and her team. Alberta's breastfeeding community is so looking forward to celebrating the milk bank's official opening!
Update, Monday, 11:55 p.m.: Just want to add link to a new blog post on how milk banks work and why they matter from Edmonton IBCLC Erie Melnychuk.
*Update, Saturday, November 19th, 2011: CMMB has added Monica Suche as donor coordinator and Mario Festival as IT manager to its volunteer staff. Maureen, Fjeld, IBCLC, and past president of the Alberta Breastfeeding Committee is also a member of the advisory board.