In 2021, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) recognized the Community Health Center of Richmond, Inc. (“CHCR”) as a Phase I award winner for the Reducing Disparities in Breastfeeding Innovative Challenge. The Office on Women’s Health, part of HHS, created the national competition to identify programs that increase breastfeeding initiation and continuation rates – and decrease disparities – among breastfeeding mothers in the United States. Although breastfeeding reduces the risk of short- and long-term illnesses and diseases in both mother and baby, fewer non-Hispanic Black infants (73.7%) are ever breastfed compared with Asian infants (90%), non-Hispanic White infants (86.7%) and Hispanic infants (84.1%).
CHCR was one of fifteen grant award winners selected out of 79 applications submitted under Phase I of the challenge, and the only awardee representing Region 2. CHCR demonstrated evidence-based interventions to target gaps in breastfeeding education, instruction, and support for breastfeeding mothers. CHCR is eligible to compete for Phase 2 of the challenge, which requires establishing plans for sustainability, replication and expansion of its breastfeeding support model into other healthcare settings. Therefore, CHCR is inviting FQHC members of the Community Health Care Association of New York State to be a part of its expansion plans to implement the breastfeeding support program within their respective Centers, if awarded. If you are interested in participating in Phase II of the Breastfeeding Innovation Challenge, please send an email to Dr. Henry Thompson, Chief Executive Officer for CHCR, at email@example.com for additional information.