The Board of Minnesota Milk Bank for Babies is pleased to announce the formation of our new leadership team dedicated to advancing our mission of helping premature and critically ill babies by providing safe pasteurized donor breast milk. This team has excellent credentials and experience in the fields of public health, nursing, lactation, and food science and we are preparing for a very productive autumn.
Linda Hsiung Dech joins the Milk Bank in September as the Executive Director and she brings outstanding leadership and management skills to the position. She is one of the founders of the Minnesota Breastfeeding Coalition, and for the past 9 years she has served as the WIC Peer Breastfeeding Coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Health. Linda graduated from Carleton College with a degree in Biology. She earned her Master of Public Health (MPH) degree at the University of Illinois in Chicago. She is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) with over 20 years of work in breastfeeding advocacy and support. Her personal and professional experience in the fields of lactation and public health will enable the Milk Bank to realize its potential to help vulnerable babies through donor human milk pasteurization and distribution.
Also starting in September is Jason Foss who recently earned his MPH degree in Maternal and Child Health at the University of Minnesota. He did his undergraduate work at Oregon State University in Microbiology. In addition to his lab and public health experience at the University, Jason has been a longtime volunteer for the Children’s Miracle Network in the area of fundraising through social media, special events, and community organizing. Jason will join our Lab Manager, Barbara Northenscold, who has food science and pasteurizing expertise and leads our lab team. They will focus on efficient, high quality human milk pasteurizing to build up inventory.
In August we welcomed Kris Scott as our Donor Coordinator. Kris is a Registered Nurse and Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) with over 30 years of nursing leadership at Allina Health. She brings meticulous attention to detail to the entire donor screening process and offers information, support, and affirmation to every potential donor who calls the office. We are very excited to have her join the Milk Bank team.
Our Medical Director, Dr. Pamela Heggie, is involved at every stage of training and is engaged in reviewing all the work performed in donor coordination, the lab, and pasteurization. The Milk Bank is fortunate to have Dr. Heggie’s expertise as a pediatrician and an IBCLC.
We also want to acknowledge two of our sister HMBANA milk banks for their help — Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes in Chicago, Illinois and Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin in Austin, Texas. We appreciate the guidance and support both milk banks have given to help further our commitment to help babies close to home.
It is tremendously exciting to consider all the value this Milk Bank team will add to our community with their dedication to the mission, the application of their education and skills, and their vision for the Milk Bank. With this talented group of professionals working together the Minnesota Milk Bank for Babies looks forward to achieving our mission of improving infant health outcomes for medically fragile babies in Minnesota. We are confident this team will meet the challenges ahead knowing their work makes such a difference for all the babies served.