About Us

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.

Strategies:

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!

Staff

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: chawkins@immb.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

John P. Countryman, WMS
Countryman Wealth & Asset Management of RAYMOND JAMES
IMMB Board Chair
Through my planning practice, I work with my clients to develop intergenerational planning strategies for their families.  What could be more important than ensuring that future generations of children have the opportunity to begin their lives with the nourishment provided through mothers’ milk?  Promoting and educating mothers on the many benefits of breastfeeding extends two generations back within my family beginning with my grandmother, Betty Ann Countryman, one of the early and organizing members of the La Leche League and former IMMB board member.  The work of the Indiana Mothers’ Milk Bank represents an extension of the efforts of the La Leche League as we endeavor to deliver mothers’ milk to infants and families who otherwise would not have this option available to them.
Melissa Harkins-Rose, RN, JD
Insurance Operations/CHRRG
Indiana University Health
IMMB Board Vice-Chair
I am a registered nurse and attorney working for Indiana University Health.  Most importantly, I am a mother of two healthy and beautiful girls—both testaments to the benefits of breast milk.  I am excited to serve on the IMMB board of directors to help make safe donor breast milk accessible and available to families and babies in need of the best nutrition on earth.

 

Mary-Ann Schmutte, IBCLC
La Leche League Leader
IMMB Board Secretary
I have been working with breastfeeding mothers and babies for over 30 years.  Joining the board of IMMB was for me, a natural extension of my interest. I enjoy being a part of a collaborative effort of professionals from various fields all working toward a common goal of helping infants receive the benefits of human milk.

 

Lisa A.  Curry, CPA 
Katz, Sapper & Miller
IMMB Board Treasurer

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.

 

Howard B. Harris, M.D.
Neonatologist, Retired
IMMB Medical Director
A founding board of directors member and current Medical Director, I have been involved with IMMB since its establishment, which marked a great achievement for improving the health of our state’s infants and children.  As director of the Methodist NICU for many years, we used PDHM almost exclusively for all our preterm infants. It is extremely well tolerated and our rate of NEC was very low.  Several studies have shown that this decreased incidence of NEC is related to the use of human milk.  Our preemies grew quite well because of less need to cut back on feeds due to feeding intolerance.

 

Margie Pyron  MS, RN, LCCE
Clinical Nurse Specialist, Women & Children Services
Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital
I am currently a Clinical Nurse Specialist at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital.  As a recent addition to the IMMB Board of Directors, I am excited to be involved in one of our state’s hidden health care treasures.  During my 24-year nursing career I have witnessed the struggles and successes of premature babies trying to survive. With my specialty being maternal and child health, I cannot imagine better experiences than being involved in improving the health and well-being of these babies through the work IMMB does every day. Available breast milk can be the life line for survival.

 

Susan Para, IBCLCr
La Leche League Leader
I am a mother of six children, including twins, who were all breastfed babies.  With my first child, I knew very little about nursing – we just did it, and luckily had very few problems.  When my second child was very little, I was harassed for nursing in public and thus my advocacy for nursing mothers, children and human milk in general was born.  I am a La Leche League Leader, Certified Birth Doula, and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.  I currently serve on the La Leche League Alliance for Breastfeeding Education staff as the Continuing Education Credentialing Administrator and as the Area Coordinator of Leaders for La Leche League of Indiana.  Working with the IMMB Board I will continue to serve the mothers and babies in the community, ensuring mother’s milk is available for those in need.

 

Kerista Hansell, MSN, RN, CNS-BS, C-EFM, IBCLC
Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist
Indiana University Health
I am currently a Clinical Nurse Specialist at IU Health Indiana University Hospital working with the Obstetric Intensive Care Unit, Mother/Baby unit, Newborn Nursery and Special Care Nursery. My past experience includes 12 years of perinatal nursing. I have worked as a bedside nurse in labor and delivery, antepartum, postpartum and newborn nursery and also as an in hospital lactation consultant. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, a Nursing degree and a Masters of Nursing degree, I am a board certified Clinical Nurse Specialist and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Most importantly I am the mother of a wonderful son now in elementary school. I believe the IMMB is an amazing resource and am excited about the opportunity to serve as an IMMB board member

Contact Us

Indiana Mothers’ Milk Bank
4755 Kingsway Drive, Suite 120
Indianapolis, Indiana 46205
phone (317) 536 – 1670
toll free (877) 829 – 7470
fax (317) 536 – 1676
info@immb.org
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