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Allen County Health Department awarded for efforts to strengthen breastfeeding support
Allen County Health Department has received the “Breastfeeding Friendly Local Health Department” from the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition.
Local health departments play a critical role in supporting breastfeeding families in their community. This important designation, was created by the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition and Wichita State University’s Community Engagement Institute, with support from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, to recognize and celebrate local health departments that are committed to supporting breastfeeding families.
Nearly 90% of new parents in Kansas start breastfeeding after giving birth, but only half are still breastfeeding six months later. The Allen County Health Department is working to improve breastfeeding rates in their community by achieving the seven criteria for the Breastfeeding Friendly Local Health Department. The criteria address community engagement, staff education, referral systems, and client education and support.
"We want to shine the spotlight on local health departments that have prioritized breastfeeding support," says Susan Lukwago, Chair of the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition Board of Directors.
In 1971, the Bi-County Health Department was started with Anderson County and Linn County. Kansas Department of Health and Environment worked with these two counties because of their low immunization rates. Several years later, Allen, Bourbon, and Woodson Counties joined to form the Southeast Kansas Multi-County Health Department. In 2006, Linn County left the SEKMCHD leaving the four counties - Allen, Anderson, Bourbon, and Woodson.
In the beginning, Health Department Nurses went into all of the schools to give free immunizations to anyone who needed them. All the while working on educating the public about the importance of immunizations. We still provide immunization services, and other services have been added over the years to include WIC, Women's Health, Home Visitors, and Breastfeeding Support.
Feel free to contact us at any time and we will do our very best to help you find what you need. We are here to help!