HMBANA Welcomes 2019 Board Members and Thanks Those Who Are Outgoing

HMBANA’s membership recently appointed four new board members and extended the term of its incumbent board secretary for another two years. Board members were sought to enhance diversity of thought and representation, and bring an awareness either by experience or expertise of the need for expanded access to donor human milk in healthcare settings.

As an equity-focused voice for donor human milk access, use, research, and policy advancement, HMBANA’s organizational focus continues shifting from nonprofit milk bank operations to advocacy and leadership. By joining HMBANA, board members will engage in ongoing dialogue and decision-making that help continue to shape the standards and principles of nonprofit milk banking in the United States and Canada.

We welcome the following new members who are briefly profiled below.

Janina Daniels, MHSA, CPSTI; Atlanta Healthy Start Initiative Program Manager, Center for Black Women's Wellness

Janina intends to bring to HMBANA the same energy and passion she brings to her everyday career of helping moms and babies where they are and with what they need. She has a lived experience of having a premature baby, being diagnosed with congestive heart failure, and told that breastfeeding was not an option and was not knowledgeable about human milk banking. In addition to this personal experience, she brings thorough strategic planning and plan execution – providing over 15 years of project coordination and healthcare communications to nonprofits and governmental entities.

While at the CDC, I managed and oversaw state operations and vaccine budgets of over $70 million dollars annually, as well as reviewed and evaluated expenditure reports to ensure compliance with policies and procedures. I will bring to HMBANA proven methods for program development and growth, agency effectiveness, and tangible accomplishments. Finally, I will bring myself fully to each and every board meeting and interaction in which I represent HMBANA’s mission and vision of “ethically sourced and equitably distributed supply of donor human milk” for all families, especially families of color.

Rebecca Heinrich, BA, CLC; Director of Operations, Mothers’ Milk Bank (CO)

Having spent her career in organ and tissue donation, Rebecca has seen how challenging equity can be to implement. Determining who receives a limited resource is complicated and emotional. However, she believes that access to human milk is a right, not a privilege.

As a member of the LGBT community, I am passionate that those who have been marginalized by society receive equitable treatment. HMBANA has laid wonderful groundwork towards making this a reality, and I would be honored to help milk banks across North America and worldwide move towards equity in impact. Increasing lactation support with a community presence has helped our milk bank serve our population and increase access to mom's own milk when possible, and I would love to see HMBANA expand its visibility and its aid.

Kiersten Israel-Ballard, MPH, DrPH; Associate Director of the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and Nutrition Global Program, PATH

Kiersten comes to HMBANA with 19 years of working in global health, and a focus on improving infant nutrition among the most vulnerable infants. Her experience working at every level of the health sector – from user and provider levels to global health policy levels – has given her critical perspective for establishing and strengthening sustainable systems for addressing complexities related to optimal newborn nutrition. 

I envision working as an advocate and helping to shape a clear role that HMBANA could play as a regional and global policy leader in achieving a larger vision for ensuring all infants receive human milk as a basic human right to optimal first food and to essential medicine. This would include serving as liaison within the global clinical and policy community to strengthen HMBANA as a recognized newborn nutrition thought leader and with outreach, learning and mentorship as core principles of the organization, through established centers of excellence for integrating breastfeeding promotion with appropriate use of donor human milk.

HMBANA Treasurer, Summer Kelly, MS, RN, IBCLC; Executive Director, Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes

Along with participating in the Guidelines Committee and chairing the Accreditation Committee, Summer also participates in HMBANA’s FDA taskforce meetings. She was the first executive director to complete PCQI food safety training and has since guided dozens of HMBANA milk bank directors and staff through this training and the Cornell food safety training course.

In addition to my passion for social justice and community engagement, I believe that my scientific and thoughtful approach to problem solving may be helpful as HMBANA carries out its vision. Of the four overarching goals in HMBANA’s strategic plan; I believe I can help the most with resource development and collective impact.

HMBANA Secretary, Roseanne Reed-Motti, MFA, CLC; Director of Operations, New York Milk Bank

Roseanne is our second-term secretary and we are grateful for her renewal. She has accumulated over two decades of lactation, childbirth, medical and community outreach experience and been an advocate for breastfeeding and donor human milk access, education, policy, and funding as both a community leader and a mother of four.

I am developing my voice and learning to step back from running a milk bank to looking at milk banking from a wider lens. I’ve had the opportunity to visit two milk banks since coming on board and with each visit, I learn something new that helps me better understand how we operate as individual milk banks and as an organization. To continue my term in the position of secretary is a real honor.

Thanks to Our Outgoing Board Members for Their Dedicated Service

HMBANA also thanks the following board members whose terms have now been completed. Your presence has guided us, and we look forward to your continued involvement in the many other ways you contribute to our network and to nonprofit milk banking at large.

Sincere thanks to outgoing immediate past president Naomi Bar-Yam, as well as to Liz Brooks, Dr. David Newburg, and Dr. Nancy Wight.