The Terry Jo Curtis Award

Terry Jo CurtisUSLCA created the Terry Jo Curtis Award to recognize the exemplary efforts of those increasing access and equity for the US IBCLC. Terry Jo Curtis, IBCLC, founded Indiana’s Black Breastfeeding Coalition and was a powerful voice promoting breastfeeding for all families in her community. She was proud to be an IBCLC. Sadly, Ms. Curtis passed on in May of 2014, but we honor her work with this award.

Congratulations to the 2020 winner!


The winner of the 2020 Terry Jo Curtis Award is Lucia Jenkins, RN, IBCLC, RLC

Lucia Jenkins is the founder of Baby Café USA, a non-profit organization working to reduce disparities by increasing access to free high-quality lactation care. Baby Café USA supports and promotes the development of community funded breastfeeding support sites, offering IBCLC care and intervention coupled with peer support. All Baby Cafés have a digital scale and are open for two hours at least once a week, increasing access for appropriate IBCLC intervention on a weekly basis. Recently a paper was published demonstrating that the Baby Café model is effective at helping mothers meet 12-month duration recommendations, despite differing socio-economic circumstances of the attending populations.

The Baby Cafés are inexpensive for a community to operate, costing $750 for initial licensing, with an annual renewal fee of $150. Community funding pays for the Baby Café Staffing and minimal costs for refreshments and marketing. Space is most often donated. Baby Cafés do not market or sell anything, are WHO-code compliant, and satisfy step 10 of the BFHI. Baby Cafés also offer a $100 IBLCE-approved mentoring program to people in the community needing contact hours to qualify for the IBCLC exam (scholarships available).

There are currently 158 licensed Baby Cafés in 32 states, operating in public sites such as libraries, YMCAs, WIC offices, Health Centers, and notably, a domestic abuse shelter, a soup kitchen, and a refugee center. Data is collected at all Baby Cafés, tracking exclusivity and parent’s satisfaction, and enabling evaluation of the program’s effectiveness at reaching targeted populations in the community.