MAG Alliance funds scholarship for lactation consultant student at GNTC
The Medical Association of Georgia Alliance (MAG Alliance) announced that is has awarded an $8,000 scholarship to a student who is enrolled in Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) lactation consultant program – Melynda Wilson – during a ceremony that took place at the school on September 4. The scholarship will cover the cost of her tuition and books for the full two-year program.
“I would like to express my sincere thanks to the MAG Alliance for its confidence and support,” says Wilson, the mother of four who is married to a firefighter/paramedic. “There is simply no way that I would have been able to pursue this allied health care profession without this scholarship.”
MAG Alliance President Dave Street says that, “The MAG Alliance is proud and excited to support Ms. Wilson as she learns clinical skills to help mothers and babies who struggle with breastfeeding. As a WIC peer counselor for nearly eight years, Ms. Wilson has demonstrated a genuine passion for providing this kind of care.”
Street adds that, “GNTC’s program has put Georgia at the forefront of the effort to improve maternal and infant health, and it will play an important role in filling the state’s deficit of some 800 lactation consultants – keeping in mind that there are already 60 enrolled students who are taking coursework toward lactation consultant certification.”
He also stresses that, “This program’s graduates will be employed by medical practices and hospitals, which will ultimately result in better breastfeeding rates and healthier babies.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that mothers breastfeed their babies exclusively for the first six months of life, yet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that just 22 percent of mothers in Georgia are meeting this measure – the 40th lowest ranking in the U.S.
Go to www.gntc.edu for additional information on GNTC’s clinical lactation consultant program.
The MAG Alliance is a network of physicians’ spouses who volunteer to improve the health of all Georgians. Go to www.magalliance.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information on the MAG Alliance.
From the left are MAG Alliance member Merrilee Gober, MAG Alliance President Dave Street, GNTC Dean of Public Service Tom Bojo, scholarship recipient Melynda Wilson, and GNTC Lactation Program Director Kathy Kerce. Photo by John Kenyon.