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Jawonio: First Officially Recognized Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace in Rockland County

On Thursday, June 14th, Rockland County Executive Ed Day, County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, and the community recognized Jawonio as the first business in Rockland to achieve Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite Recognition by the Rockland County Department of Health’s Breastfeeding Promotion and Support Program. Thanks to a grant from the Department of Health, Jawonio created a furnished and fully-equipped lactation room in the main building on our New City Campus.

The grant is part of the NYS Department of Health's Breastfeeding Promotion and Support Program initiative--a five year funding effort to establish a breastfeeding-friendly care continuum from pregnancy through infancy to increase breastfeeding initiation, exclusivity, duration and reducing racial, ethnic and community disparities in breastfeeding.

It was through this grant that Jawonio was provided the resources to create a lactation space, purchase a hospital grade breast pump so that lactating moms don't have to carry their own, install a refrigerator for breastmilk storage, and introduce a glider rocker, chair with stepstool, and a warm cozy environment for its employees. In addition, breastfeeding support resources will be available to Jawonio employees.

Viola James, Human resources Benefits and Wellness Manager says, "The breastfeeding grant has allowed Jawonio to provide our lactating mothers the opportunity to pump breast milk for their babies in a safe, clean and tranquil environment. It would not have been possible without the grant provided by the Health Department."

Samantha Midulla, Jawonio Staff Psychologist who just returned to work after the birth of her second child says, "Being able to come back to work and be able to use a private, calming room with a hospital grade pump so I can pump the milk my child needs while I am away at work has helped me be able to reach my breastfeeding goal of nursing Milania until she is one year or older. Not only does my amazing husband Michael support my breastfeeding goals, so does Jawonio. Thank you Jawonio for being a wonderful family oriented workplace."

Jill Warner, CEO, says "It is so important to provide the assistance mothers need, so they're able to return to work knowing they are supported and can provide the care that their children need. We are very proud to have created breastfeeding and wellness rooms at our Jawonio Tech location in New Hempstead and our Yonkers program site as well."

“Jawonio’s commitment to the health and well-being of their staff has great benefits for their business, staff, and the community and encourages mothers to continue to provide the best nutrition for their babies while being able to return to work,” said Dr. Ruppert.

See photo highlights here of Rockland County Executive, Ed Day presenting Jill Warner, CEO with the award; Dr. Ruppert presenting the certificate of recognition; Laurie Messinger, Lactation Program Director; Viola James, Human Resources Benefit Specialist; along with Samantha Midulla and Rubina Vij, moms who recently returned to work and are using the the new lactation room.

Visit News12 Westchester, WRCR AM1700, Fios 1 NewsHudson Valley News Network, and Employee Benefits from the UK for more official news stories, videos, and audio, covering our announcement.