A Little Bit About Us
The Milk Bank provides pasteurized donor human milk (PDHM) by prescription or physical order to hospitals and outpatients throughout the United States. Premature and ill infants in hospital neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) are our highest priority.
Want to join our team? Check our Careers page for current open positions!
Since 2007, I have served as the Executive Director of The Milk Bank, formerly 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 Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and completed coursework toward a Ph.D. 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 Milk Bank reach our greatest potential through growth, expansion and progress towards a time when all babies that need it will have access to the gift of mother’s milk.
Janice will retire as Executive Director on December 31, 2019.
Since my relocation from the UK to the USA in 2008, I have worked 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 an incredible life event-birth. 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 breastfeeding support. This inspired me to increase my knowledge in lactation to enhance my practice as a Midwife. Following my immigration to the United States, I am proud to say I achieved my goal of becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Since then I have been employed as a hospital based IBCLC and provided private home visits as a Lactation Consultant.
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 a doubt will receive the unique gift of Mothers milk.
After my daughter was born in 2010, she spent a month in the hospital for brain surgery. During that time, the only thing that I could think to do was to breastfeed. It wasn’t easy in the beginning. She was taken to a separate hospital just a few hours after birth, while I was recovering from a C-section. I had just a couple hours with her immediately after birth where we did skin to skin and she did latch and begin to nurse but it wasn’t for very long. I pretty much began my breastfeeding journey using a pump in a hospital miles away from my baby, just as many of our donors do. However, 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. I was able to use my knowledge of food service standards, and my love and passion of breastfeeding to start working at The Milk Bank. Since then, I have had two healthy little boys who were lucky enough to come to work with me at The Milk Bank every day until they were six months old. The opportunity to continue our uninterrupted breastfeeding journey for that long, and be a working mom was the best of both worlds. The support during my pregnancies and breastfeeding journeys with them has been amazing! I have loved working at The Milk Bank for the last 7 years and I look forward to growing with the organization.
Why would a woman without children want to work with breast milk? I heard variations of that question more than once when I announced to family and friends that I had taken a job at The Milk Bank. I guess it was a legitimate question considering that all of my “babies” have four legs and fur and I had spent nearly twenty years working in Information Technology and Analytics. My answer was simple, I was tired of helping corporations make money, I wanted to help make a difference in peoples’ lives. I had heard about The Milk Bank several years ago from a friend and was impressed with the amazing service they provide. I’ve always had a passion for helping those in need and when I found out The Milk Bank was hiring I knew I needed to be a part of this incredible organization and, as luck would have it, they felt I would be a good addition to their staff. I know that I have found my new calling. I’m amazed by the brave, strong, passionate women who work here and am so proud to not only call them my co-workers but also my friends. Every day I am inspired by them and reminded that The Milk Bank is about more than just breast milk, it’s about the compassion offered to a bereaved mom as she deals with life (and her milk) after losing her child, it’s about the support given to a mom that has spent day in and day out with her baby in the NICU, it’s about the encouragement given to a mom who is about to take her first (or second or third…) baby home from the hospital. Amazing things happen here every day.
When I’m not at The Milk Bank you can find me creating art in my stained glass workshop, planning our next travel adventure or planting and harvesting apples, pumpkins and other vegetables for various local Farmer’s Markets and the U-Pick Pumpkin Patch at the farm my husband and I own and operate, Ducky Meadow Farm and Orchard.
Before I became a mom, I honestly hadn’t thought much about breastfeeding, but when my son Michael was born at 24 weeks gestation, there wasn’t a question in my mind about whether or not to pump for him. Breast milk is the best thing for micro preemies, so I pumped like it was my job for the entire length of his too-short life- 1 month. When Michael died, I knew that I could not throw away all of that hard work and love I put into his milk, so I was put in contact with The Milk Bank. Donating my milk in his memory was an incredible part of my healing and it was comforting to know that the milk I had made just for him and his needs would go to other sick babies with needs similar to his. Since then, I’ve given birth to a healthy little girl who I had the pleasure of breastfeeding. Milk donation has become one of my passions and to have the opportunity to work with so many giving, selfless moms is truly an honor. Not a day goes by that I don’t say, “I love my job!”
After graduating with degrees in Elementary and Special Education from Indiana State University, I spent five years working with children with disabilities in various settings including teaching high school special education and as a behavioral therapist at an autism center.
My oldest son was born in 2010 and my youngest was born on Christmas Eve 2016. Both pregnancies were complicated by hyperemesis and preeclampsia resulting in premature birth. Thankfully my miracle babies and I all ended up in good health but I never take for granted the many other outcomes our family could have endured. It was my experience with my oldest son that brought me to The Milk Bank in 2013 as a pasteurization technician but I have since held numerous positions with TMB. I have been able to turn some of my greatest challenges in life into a blessing. Each day I have the opportunity to speak with donors and outpatients who have had similar experiences with prematurity and preeclampsia or other pregnancy complications. My greatest joy in working at TMB is knowing undoubtedly that we are helping other families improve the health of their baby and providing comfort and love to those who have had to face the loss of their little one.
My desire to make a difference never ends when I clock out for work. In my free time, I am active in various support networks for special needs parents, Applied Behavior Analysis, and Interstitial Cystitis. My children and I enjoy attending my husband’s band concerts throughout the city, spending time outdoors, and visiting Indy’s zoo and children’s museum.
As a mother of three daughters, I have seen the physical and emotional benefits of breast-feeding first hand. They, too, are enjoying this experience as they become mothers themselves. I currently have two grandchildren and another arriving very shortly!
I have always worked in the service industry, either waiting tables or tending bar at special events. It was an honest, decent living, and provided nicely for my girls and I. Then came the proverbial "empty nest syndrome" after all three had graduated and moved out. So I enrolled and Ivy Tech community college. There i received my Associates of Applied Science in the field of Mortuary.
While deciding what to do with this new accomplishment, I was contacted by an old friend and previous coworker. She offered me the fantastic opportunity to be a part of something important and life-changing. I jumped at the chance.
Now I am proud to say I work at The Milk Bank, and every day we make a difference in fragile babies lives. It is a wonderful feeling to enjoy my place of employment as well as my lovely caring coworkers. I hope to be a part of this company for many years to come.
I have been described as a “player-coach” – one who works and learns alongside those I help, teach or mentor. Perhaps it’s because of my experience as a communications and public relations professional in the not-for-profit sector for more than a decade, or maybe it’s just because I like people! It’s a blessing to join the staff of The Milk Bank in a part-time role, especially after the recent birth of my second child made me decide to leave my full-time career to spend more time with our daughter.
My husband and I have been blessed with two healthy, breastfed kids. We enjoy visiting museums, shopping farmers markets and local goods, playing original Nintendo video games and taking our two dogs on evening walks around the neighborhood.
While my career began in Human Resources, I am a lifelong volunteer with a soft spot for women and children. I stayed at home while my three children were young and logged a total of three and a half years breastfeeding, where through my own struggles, I came to appreciate why breast milk is referred to as “liquid gold.” I am in awe of our donors, who are giving a truly precious gift.
I knew that when I returned to work, I wanted to combine my Human Resources experience with my passion for the nonprofit sector. In 2017, I received my graduate certificate in nonprofit management from IUPUI’s O’Neill School for Public and Environmental Affairs and am on track to receive my Masters in Public Affairs in 2020.
When I need to recharge, I love going to concerts, listening to podcasts, cooking and hanging out with my family, which includes our Bernedoodle, Wendell. I am honored to work alongside my colleagues at The Milk Bank doing the important work of supporting moms and babies!