A delegation from Sint Maarten’s Collective Preventive Services (CPS), a department in the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, recently attended the 9th Summit of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) in Washington DC at the Pew Charitable Trusts.
The two-day June 6-7 summit took place under the theme: “First Food: The Essential Role of Breastfeeding.”
Dr. Virginia Asin, CPS Head gave a presentation about Breastfeeding Promotion and Practices on Sint Maarten. CPS Nurse Ivanca Woodley, also attended the summit and was co-presenter.
“I am very proud that our program got the attention of ABM, but I am more proud of the fact that the work done by our staff with limited resources, both human and financial, received such high recognition.
“At the summit we expanded our knowledge with attending professionals who offered support and technical assistance for the future upgrading and improvement in our Breastfeeding program and practices.
“With this summit behind us, CPS has intensified the already strong relationship with the American University of the Caribbean (AUC) through Dr. Julie Taylor who is the current President of ABM, but also the Associate Dean for Academics and Student Affairs at AUC.
“It was a huge honour for us to be invited to make a presentation at such a prestigious event in front of an illustrious group of experts in the field of breastfeeding,” Dr. Virginia Asin said on Friday.
The First Annual Summit, held in June 2009, marked the 25th anniversary of the Surgeon General's Workshop on Breastfeeding and Human Lactation, a milestone event led by the late C. Everett Koop, MD in 1984.
Now in its Ninth year, the Summit will continue to monitor and address the unmet health needs of underserved mothers and their vulnerable children associated with low rates of breastfeeding, and to work proactively toward reducing barriers to breastfeeding.
The goal of the summit was to bring high-level visibility in order to generate timely evidence-based programs for an enhanced national breastfeeding agenda.
Each year's Summit serves as a benchmark to assess annual progress in breastfeeding practice nationwide. In the past ABM have been pleased to feature each Surgeon General as well as leaders from other Federal agencies, key Senators, Congressmen, Governors, Mayors, the World Bank, and nonprofits nationwide.
Key thought leaders in health and public health and medicine participating in the conference included high-level representatives from major Federal agencies as well as hands-on grass roots administrators from important programs throughout the United States and leaders from academic institutions, industry, nonprofits, and public agencies.
The Summit was again presented by the publication, Breastfeeding Medicine. Founded in 1995, the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine is an international, multi-specialty, physician organization with more than 700 members dedicated to the promotion, protection, and support of breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding Medicine, as its official peer-reviewed journal, will publish the Summit proceedings and policy recommendations coming out of the summit.
PHOTO CUTLINE: L to R: CPS Nurse Ivanca Woodley, President of ABM Dr. Julie Taylor, and CPS Head Dr. Virginia Asin.