In 2005, Indiana Mothers’ Milk Bank, Inc., was established to improve health outcomes for premature and ill infants, foster better health for Indiana’s children and decrease health care expenditures. The milk bank receives human milk from carefully screened donors, pasteurizes, freezes and distributes it throughout Indiana and the Midwest. As a non-profit, community-supported entity, IMMB is the first and only donor human milk bank in Indiana.
For some, mothers’ milk is a gift like no other. As part of a nationwide network of lactating mothers working to help infants in need of human milk, we give these mothers a way to share the gift that only they can provide—the medicine-like mothers’ milk that ailing infants and others thrive on for life-giving nutrition.
1) Increase availability of pasteurized donor human milk for ill and premature infants
2) Recruit and screen potential human milk donors
3) Provide pasteurized donor human milk processed according to Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) guidelines
4) Educate the community about enhanced health outcomes for infants receiving human milk
5) Increase the initiation and duration of breastfeeding in Indiana
6) Facilitate research with human milk and subsequent health outcomes
While the Indiana Mothers’ Milk Bank is still in its early years and holds a future rich in promise and potential, the history of the milk bank is abundant with loyalty to our mission, progress and growth. The milk bank is supported by various community partners, grants and individuals who donate everything from financial support and sponsorship to rocking chairs and human milk.
Support from mothers who contribute milk, volunteers who contribute time and community partners who contribute financial support and in-kind donations has allowed us to flourish. We have distributed thousands of ounces of milk to hundreds of babies and others who need it to survive—and we’ve only just begun.
With 17 milk drop-off sites across Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Wisconsin and St. Louis (and growing!). With thousands of ounces of milk passing through our offices each month, we continue to expand throughout the Midwest. We are committed to Sharing the Gift of Mothers’ Milk!
Janice Sneider O’Rourke, MPA, RD, Executive Director
Since 2007, I have served as the Executive Director of the Indiana Mothers’ Milk Bank. I have a long history of advocacy for infant and child nutrition and health care. I received my Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Bowling Green State University, completed my Dietetic Internship at Harper Hospital in Detroit, Michigan and have been a Registered Dietitian for over 23 years. I received my Master of Public Affairs from IUPUI, and am currently a PhD Candidate in Philanthropic Studies through the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. I spent over 11 years in public service with both the Arkansas Department of Health and the Indiana State Department of Health before I moved to the nonprofit sector. I see the milk bank as the perfect blending of my interest in infant nutrition, my love for public health, and my knowledge of nonprofit organizations. I see the potential to create better health outcomes for infants and children as I work to help the IMMB reach our greatest potential through growth and expansion and progress towards a time when all babies that need it will have access to the gift of mother’s milk.
Sarah Long, IBCLC, Clinical Coordinator
Since my relocation from the UK to the USA in 2008, I have working tirelessly to create a career in the field I feel so passionately about. I graduated in 1997 from the University of Birmingham, Central England, with a Bachelors in Midwifery . My career as a Registered Midwife in the UK allowed me the honor of delivering and supporting moms in this incredible life event. My passion for Breastfeeding really began when I became a Mother, the challenges I faced along the way taught me that all moms need good community support. This inspired me to increase my knowledge in lactation to enhance my practice as a Midwife. Following my emigration to the USA, I am Proud to say I achieved my goal to become an International Board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC). Since then I have been employed as a hospital based IBCLC and provided private home visits as an LC. I am extremely community focused and through my journey within the breastfeeding community I am happy to say I found my calling here at the milk bank, where I can help support a population of Moms and Babies, who without doubt will receive the unique gift of Mothers milk.
Jami Marvin, Pasteurization Coordinator
After my daughter was born, she spent almost a month in the hospital due to brain surgery. During that time, the only thing that I could think to do was to breastfeed. In my mind, since I couldn’t go through the surgery for her, I knew that I was giving her the best chance I could at getting through the surgery as a healthy baby girl. She made it through just fine and my husband and I realized the benefits that breastfeeding offered our daughter. Since then I have had an overwhelming passion for all things breastfeeding. I am so excited to have the opportunity to work for a passionate growing organization and look forward to what the future has to offer!
Carissa Hawkins, Communication Coordinator
Everyone said Motherhood would change me. I knew they were right, I just didn’t anticipate a career change in addition to all the other capacities I have gained after having my first child. I choose to breastfeed and quickly found that I was making more milk then my babe would use, so I donated. My role at IMMB is all things marketing and communications. I have a Bachelors Degree in Communication Studies and have worked in care coordinator since graduating. I am so thankful to be using my skills for such a worthy population. Aside from spending time with my baby girl and biking, I volunteer with the Junior League of Indianapolis. Feel free to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrea Tincher, Pasteurization Tech
After graduating with a B.S. in Elementary and Special Education from Indiana State University, I spent five years working with children with disabilities in various settings from teaching to behavioral therapy. Within that timeframe my son was born and was my own living proof to the powers of breast milk. He was born five weeks early and was tiny–oh, so tiny. He grew from a 4 lb. 2 oz. miracle baby into a strong, healthy boy overcoming numerous health issues. It is because of our experiences breastfeeding and attending support group meetings that I became so incredibly passionate about the breastfeeding and the benefits of human milk. In the future I would like to become a lactation consultant and perhaps even an IBCLC. I consider myself immensely blessed to work alongside others who are as enthusiastic about sharing their experiences and knowledge of the wonders of human milk. When I’m not working or spending time with my family, I enjoy being outdoors, sports, and playing french horn in the Henry County Community Band
Erin Connor, Pasteurization Tech
I joined the Indiana Mothers’ Milk Bank in June and am very excited to be working where I know I am making a difference. I am a student at the Indiana University School of Nursing at IUPUI, and I am excited to continue learning here at IMMB. I am also involved in the Student Nurses Association at IU.
Board of Directors
I am a certified public accountant and mother to three beautiful, healthy children. I was fortunate enough to be able to breastfeed each of my three children until they were almost a year old. I was honored when presented with the opportunity to begin working with IMMB. In 2011, I became a breast milk donor, joined the IMMB board of directors and have since been named the Treasurer. As someone who has personally seen the benefits that human milk provides to babies, I am proud to be a part of IMMB and help other people learn about and take advantage of these benefits.
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