UAB's first campus lactation center officially opened its doors in the Shelby Building Thursday, July 31, the first day of World Breastfeeding Week.
More than 30 employees attended the grand-opening ceremony, led by UAB President Carol Garrison. Others in attendance included Louis Dale, vice president of equity and diversity, and Mona Fouad, M.D., chair of the UAB Commission on the Status of Women.
Lewis Doggett, chair of the Alabama Breastfeeding Committee, also attending, awarding UAB with the Committee's first Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace designation in the state of Alabama.
"In 2006 we established the UAB Commission on the Status of Women to make our campus more accommodating and more sensitive to the needs of female students, faculty and staff," Garrison said in her remarks. "I think this facility is a great stride in that direction."
It's also just the beginning of a larger vision. Two more lactation centers are planned for campus, including one set to begin construction immediately in the Hill University Center. The other lactation center will be constructed in Sterne Library.
Doggett praised UAB for establishing supportive policies, facilities and resources for breastfeeding employees, saying the institution is setting the standards for others to follow.
"This is a momentous event in that this our first official recognition in the state," Doggett said. "UAB is making a difference in the health and well being of families in the community and setting an example for other institutions in the state."
The new lactation center is available to all UAB employees and students.