West Virginia WIC and Pacify award inaugural Diversity in Lactation Consulting Scholarship


CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and Pacify, a health technology company that provides 24/7 infant feeding support to new and expecting parents, announced the first Diversity in Lactation Consulting scholarship winner.

Crystal Lovett will receive $1,000 to cover the cost of the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners exam required to become an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).  The scholarship is designed to improve diversity among lactation consultants. Lovett is the first Diversity in Lactation Consulting scholarship winner in West Virginia.

“Crystal is the perfect choice for this award,” said Jodi Giancola, State Breastfeeding Coordinator for the WV WIC program. “She is a mission-driven person who cares deeply about improving health outcomes for families in her community.”

Pacify enables new and expecting parents to connect to a nationwide network of IBCLCs who provide infant feeding support via video chat. Pacify works to implement evidence-based strategies that not only increase rates of breastfeeding initiation, duration, and exclusivity but also boost engagement with vulnerable populations, which leads to improved outcomes and a reduction in costs associated with care. One strategy is ensuring parents have an opportunity to connect with a provider with whom they can relate. This can be accomplished by ensuring more local IBCLCs are available in every state.

“Crystal will be an amazing lactation consultant,” said Melanie Silverman, chief clinical officer of Pacify. “The lactation profession has a long way to go to improve diversity but Crystal joining the ranks of lactation consultants is a bright spot as we work towards better representation of minority groups within the field. I truly believe she will be a valuable asset to West Virginia, and we are excited about the opportunity to be a part of her journey.”

West Virginia professionals can apply for the next round of scholarships by visiting https://www.pacify.com/diversity-in-lactation-award/. Applications must be completed by December 31, 2021 and will be reviewed by February 2022.

“After receiving amazing support from hospital and community lactation consultants following the births of my children, I knew I wanted to work in the maternal child health space and help other families navigate their journeys through pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding,” Lovett said. “Becoming an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant will equip me with knowledge and skills to reach many families in diverse situations.”

The West Virginia WIC program provides nutrition counseling, parenting advice, breastfeeding support, food assistance and referral support to help families live more healthy lives. WIC services are free for pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women and children up to the age of 5.

Pacify is the leading health technology company that provides 24/7 clinical and social support to new and expecting parents. Pacify’s nationwide network of IBCLCs, and registered nurses have helped more than 100,000 families, resulting in reduced costs and improved outcomes for clients across the public health sector such as WIC, Departments of Health, home visiting programs, managed care organizations, hospitals, non-profit organizations, and employers. Learn more about Pacify by visiting https://www.pacify.com.

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