As 2016 draws to a close, it is good to take a few moments to pause and reflect on the many avenues in which USLCA has had the opportunity to advocate for the IBCLC® and serve our members in 2016.

We had the honor of representing USLCA at events such as:

* AAP Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight (Dec ’15)

* ILCA (July)

* USBC Coalitions Conference (August)

* ROSE Breastfeeding Summit (July)

* AWHONN regional meeting in Memphis, TN (October)

* Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (October)

And with representation with several organizations, including

* United States Breastfeeding Committee

* National Association of Professional and Peer Lactation Supporters of Color

* National Action Partnership to Promote Safe Sleep

* National WIC Association

We hosted our first virtual Annual Meeting, removing barriers to access for our members.

We have 32 official USLCA Chapters advocating for the IBCLC at the local level.

In efforts to support aspiring lactation professionals we have

* Launched a new Facebook Group: Aspiring IBCLCs

* Convened a task force to promote mentorship
* Through the generosity of our members, we initiated a membership grant program and have awarded 27 membership grants!

We offered our first two Regional Clinical Workshops, bringing exciting conference offerings close to home. We also offered monthly webinars on a wide variety of topics and 8 FREE CERPS to members. We began planning our May 2017 New Horizons in Clinical Lactation Conference and have selected fabulous speakers you will be sure to love.

We celebrated National Breastfeeding Awareness Month with our #WhyILoveBeingAnIBCLC campaign on social media, celebrating our members and their passion for our profession.

We invested in behind-the-scenes technology and upgrades to ensure that “IBCLC” comes up higher in online searches for breastfeeding help and expertise and worked with a marketing consultant to strengthen our brand and provide our members with powerful words they can use.

We have written letters to many organizations, associations, and journals, advocating for the IBCLC at every opportunity. Watch for a USLCA letter to be published in JAMA Pediatrics in January.

We have continued to publish materials for you to use in your practice—materials highlighting the contribution of the IBCLC, such as Who’s Who in Lactation, Fact vs Fiction: The IBCLC and CLC, and Efficacy of the IBCLC – Recommendations and Evidence .

And, believing that licensure will increase access to our clinical services and open the profession to a more diverse population, we carefully crafted a model bill for states to use as a starting point as they work on legislation.

We continue to work on the reimbursement issues that are critical to our profession. We launched an affinity program for members that provides discounts on services at no cost to you.

We have accomplished all of this with one full-time staff member, Danielle Harmon, MPH, our dynamic Executive Director, a part-time administrative assistant, and the work of a small cadre of highly skilled and committed volunteers. In 2017 we look forward to adding a part-time staff member to focus exclusively on our educational offerings.

Thank you for your support of USLCA…for being part of all we do as we advocate for you, the IBCLC, as we strive to fulfill our vision of a foundation of optimal health in our nation.

Please continue to support your professional association by: * Renewing your membership * Volunteering to help * Making a tax-deductible donation to our general fund, licensure & reimbursement fund, or membership grant fund.

Thank you for the work you do for mothers, babies, and families!

We hope that many of you will join us in San Antonio in May for a clinical day plus three days of well-known and new presenters in our growing field of lactation. Refresh and become inspired while earning 25 CERPs (including 5 in Ethics!) and networking with colleagues.

All the Best,


Debi Ferrarello
President, USLCA