Jane Grassley has received the prestigious double honor of becoming the first recipient of the “Dr. Jane Grassley Breastfeeding Award of Excellence,” an award inspired by her work and presented at the Idaho Breastfeeding Coalition (IBC) 2018 summit in June.
To highlight the importance and success of educating Idaho families on breastfeeding, the IBC created the annual Grassley Breastfeeding Award to recognize individuals who fulfill the mission and vision of the IBC. The recipients will have demonstrated leadership, dedication and compassion for breastfeeding families within the state.
Grassley inspired and received the award due to her numerous publications, honors and awards on topics ranging from a grandmother’s role in supporting breastfeeding to supporting adolescents in childbirth. Her dissertation on “Understanding Maternal Breastfeeding Confidence” is a subject that has been prevalent throughout her career. “Nurturing breastfeeding confidence has been a common theme in much of her research, a theme that shines in her love and passion for the new family and has made her the mentor she is today,” according to the IBC.
Grassley, who joined the School of Nursing in 2010, additionally holds a joint appointment with Women’s Services at St. Luke’s Regional Health System where she collaborates with the hospitals’ lactation consultants to develop research and evidence-based practice projects that support breastfeeding. Additionally, she’s been an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant for 20 years.
“Grassley’s lifelong contributions and commitment to breaking down barriers to breastfeeding through her research and leadership has touched the lives of many and shaped the career path of numerous professionals,” stated the IBC. Her current research focuses on areas related to promoting and supporting breastfeeding through the uses of mobile technologies in facilitating community support for mother’s breastfeeding a late preterm or early term infant. A focus on this specific age group (those who are born up to 3 weeks early), is crucial as these infants must receive more immediate care and attention during the process of breastfeeding.
The IBC works to facilitate a community and statewide landscape that protects, supports, and promotes breastfeeding as the biological norm for a healthier Idaho. They strive to improve hospital maternity care practices and develop systems to guarantee skilled support for lactation between hospitals and health care settings in the community. Furthermore, the IBC hosts annual summits to evaluate the current state of breastfeeding, inspire and motivate a catalyst for change, explore best practice, acquire new skills, provide networking opportunities, and share resources and tools.