The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) is undertaking a three-year strategic planning initiative to build capacity for safe, equitable sourcing and distribution of donor human milk for vulnerable babies.
FORT WORTH, Texas, Aug. 30, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Human Milk Banking Association of North America is pleased to announce that it has received a $425,000.00 three-year strategic planning grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to advance community based, non-profit human milk banking for medically fragile babies and/or outpatient babies with a medical need.
Since 1985, members of HMBANA have opened their doors by providing safe pasteurized donor human milk for vulnerable babies across the United States and Canada. Now there are 30 HMBANA accredited milk banks operating or developing across North America. This massive growth in nonprofit milk banking is evidence that the landscape of human milk banking is evolving rapidly.
This funding will allow HMBANA leaders and key stakeholders to come together to "Identify and address obstacles to greater availability of banked donor milk for fragile infants."
Pauline Sakamoto, Past President of the HMBANA Board and driver of HMBANA's relationship with the Kellogg Foundation, praised the investment, saying, "Through strategic planning, we seek to position HMBANA to lead at all levels, to build capacity for community based, non-profit donor human milk banks across North America who consistently work to build relationships with donors who have excess milk and are willing to provide such a valuable gift in order to improve health outcomes for babies in need."
Like blood banks, HMBANA member milk banks are increasingly viewed as a critical part of the public health infrastructure. Support from the Kellogg Foundation is critically important at this stage of community based donor human milk banking, especially in the face of forces seeking to commoditize human milk, particularly in vulnerable low income communities. The funds provided by the Kellogg Foundation will amplify the collective power of HMBANA to continue to address the needs of vulnerable babies in these communities and beyond.
Through the strategic planning process, the organization will work to clarify its mission, vision and values; address infrastructure needs; and position the organization to achieve its long term goals. A key underpinning of the strategic planning process is to mobilize the organization to take a deep look into policies, procedures, guidelines and human milk banking engagement through an equity lens.
About the Human Milk Banking Association of North America
In 2015, HMBANA's 23-member milk banks dispensed 4.3 million ounces of lifesaving donor human milk to critically ill hospitalized infants in all 50 states and most of Canada. Visit www.hmbana.org for more information about HMBANA and member milk bank locations.