We are emailing you to ask if you would consider volunteering your precious time with us (or know of someone who might) to help us in our new endeavours; to help secure funding for our organization, and to help develop our organization.
As you may know:
At the Newman Breastfeeding Clinic (NBC), we help thousands of families each year with their breastfeeding issues. Our clinical team is comprised of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) and physicians who offer one-on-one counselling for mothers experiencing breastfeeding challenges. We provide highly skilled support for all mother and/or baby difficulties that may lead to the premature discontinuation of breastfeeding. The clinic also offers preventive care for anticipated breastfeeding challenges and presents prenatal breastfeeding classes for expectant families.
What you may not know:
We recently incorporated as a not-for-profit Ontario organization: The International Breastfeeding Centre (IBC). IBC is one of the few organizations in Canada that is fully dedicated to providing care and resources for breastfeeding families. Our mission is to empower mothers to achieve their own breastfeeding goals. IBC sees mothers and their babies at our Newman Breastfeeding Clinic, teaches students in our Centre for Breastfeeding Education, and organizes and conducts studies and clinical trials at our Centre for Breastfeeding Research.
The Centre for Breastfeeding Education (CBE) offers our Lactation Medicine Programme, which is unique in that it provides both onsite theoretical and hands-on practical training for multi-disciplinary health care professionals and non-health care professionals from all over the world. It is also the only programme in Canada which has been granted the International designation of AARC Approval (www.aarclactation.org). Through our Centre’s rigorous programme, which also encourages community awareness and evidence-based practice, our students are trained to become pioneering leaders in lactation medicine and active and integral members of the health care community and team.
The research projects conducted at the Centre for Breastfeeding Studies (CBS) are driven by our students and faculty who are dedicated to advancing our understanding of lactation medicine. We are investigating a wide range of topics, which address various aspects of breastfeeding including but not limited to the efficacy of clinical practices, creating various diagnostic and treatment protocols, and psychosocial aspects of breastfeeding management.
Why does IBC need funding?
As our physicians are funded by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP—Ontario’s universal health care system) and these physicians pay a locum fee to our clinic, those fees along with our patient fees, and to a lesser extent, our student fees, comprise the majority of IBC’s income. Due to the fact that lactation consultants and their services are not covered by OHIP, we ask a nominal suggested fee for our clinical services to those patients who are able to pay it; of course we will reduce or waive that fee entirely upon request. As a result, the expenses for the clinic are not covered by patient fees and we are in need of external funding sources in order to continue to do our work. In addition, NBC has a broad reach of patients who reside in various parts of Ontario and neighbouring provinces and beyond. However, the number of patients we can see is restricted by the limited number of staff we are able to pay and the limited space we can afford to rent---both challenges leading to extensive wait times for our patients who often need immediate help. Furthermore, these limitations directly affect the number of students we can train, and the amount of research we can conduct.
Where do you come in?
As someone who is familiar with what we do and who shares our values about breastfeeding and our concerns about the lack of breastfeeding support, we are appealing to your sense of wanting to help the world, to do good in your own backyard, to wanting to make a difference, and to your ability to facilitate change.
We are looking for a team of individuals who have anywhere from a few hours/week to a few hours/month. We are looking for those able (or eager to learn!) to help in a variety of areas: fundraising, computer, advertising, PR, grant writing, lobbying, soliciting donations, event planning.
Now that we have piqued your interest, what’s next?
We are calling an information meeting of potential volunteers for Monday February 28th at 12 noon-2:00 pm or Friday March 4th, from 12 noon till 2:00pm. A light lunch will be served.
How to RSVP?
Please email Kerrian at firstname.lastname@example.org with your preferred date. If you can potentially make either date please let us know—we will likely only hold one meeting date unless there is an even split amongst respondents. For more information please email Edith Kernerman at email@example.com .
Thank you so much for considering our request. Mothers and babies everywhere thank you too!!
Eileen Park, MSc, IBCLC Jack Newman, MD, IBCLC Edith Kernerman, IBCLC
Executive Director Executive Director Executive Director
International Breastfeeding Centre
1255 Sheppard Avenue East
Toronto, ON, Canada, M2K 1E2