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.
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.
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 also had a healthy little boy who was lucky enough to come to work with me at The Milk Bank every day until he was 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 pregnancy and breastfeeding journey with him has been amazing! I have loved working at The Milk Bank for the last 3 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!”
I was born and grew up in Ecuador, South America, until the age of 14. My parents are bilingual and I was fortunate to grow up learning both English and Spanish at home and at school, which has led me to want to serve the Spanish speaking community of Indianapolis. I am a proud mom to a 3 year old girl who keeps me on my toes.
I graduated with a Master’s degree in Social Work in 2008 and have since been involved with not for profit Child Welfare Prevention Programs in Marion County. While being a part of these programs, I learned the importance of breastfeeding not just because of the nutritional aspect of it but also because of the importance of bonding with babies from the very beginning. I am proud to be part of The Milk Bank and strive to continue its mission by working closely with donors and providing bilingual services that will hopefully reach more of the population.
I am excited to be a part of The Milk Bank team and look forward to helping our organization grow and achieve its goals. As a mother of two, I am passionate about educating the community on the benefits of breastmilk and the importance of donating human milk.
I am an experienced development professional who has dedicated my career to the non-profit sector since obtaining my degree from Indiana University Indianapolis Kelley School of Business with a BS in Business Management and dual certificates in Non-Profit Management. I am passionate about working to make a difference and supporting others.
I enjoy traveling and spending time with my husband and children and our family.
After graduating with a degree in journalism at Franklin College, I spent several years as a reporter for several weekly and daily newspapers in Indiana and Kentucky. I returned to the Hoosier state, and worked as a web developer and publications director for Ivy Tech Community College, and along the way, earned a master’s degree in informatics at Indiana University. Upon retiring from the college communications and marketing sector, I turned my career moves to freelance writing and photography, maintaining my own photography business. What drew me to The Milk Bank? Once I discovered the dedication and passion that the current employees had for the mission and efforts of this very worthy non-profit, I wanted to be a part of their journey. Although I am not a mother, I have raised several long-haired dachshunds—children to me. In my short time here, I have seen amazing things happen, and I look forward to disseminating the stories, background, growth and continuing advances that breastfeeding brings to the parenting community. When I am not at The Milk Bank you can find me behind the lens of my camera, editing video, reading, hiking, traveling, and enjoying time with my family, husband and our two adorable doxies, Hershey and Biscuit.
If you would have told 16-year-old Whitney that she would use something called social media to promote breastfeeding and donor milk, she probably would have looked at you like you had four heads! Today, I’m proud to say that I spend most of my day chatting about the benefits of breast milk. However, before I became the social butterfly of breast milk, I was a reporter at several daily newspapers in Indiana, New York and Alabama. I obtained my degree in journalism from Alabama State University in Montgomery. I’ve also completed coursework toward an MBA at Ball State University. My passion for breastfeeding started long before I became a mom. I’ve always been around breastfeeding advocates, which made breastfeeding a no-brainer for me. I’m happy to find a career where my skills and passion can live together in harmony.
In my free time, I love spending time with my husband and daughter and shopping for great deals.
After graduating with a B.S. in Elementary and Special Education from Indiana State University, I spent five years working with children with disabilities in various settings from teaching high school to behavioral therapy at an autism center. Within that timeframe, my son was born and became my own living proof to the powers of breast milk. After a complicated pregnancy and an unexplained intrauterine growth restriction, Cameron was born 5 weeks early. He grew from a 4 lb. 2 oz. miracle baby into a strong, healthy boy overcoming numerous health issues. It is because of our experiences breastfeeding and attending support group meetings that I became so incredibly passionate about breastfeeding and the benefits of human milk.
In July of 2013, I began my journey with The Milk Bank as a pasteurization tech and am now enjoying learning more about the administrative aspects of a non-profit business as the office manager. It is an indescribable feeling to work with such a passionate group of people who are so mission-oriented. When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband and son, being outdoors, visiting family, attending my husband’s various band performances, and playing french horn.
Public health has been a passion of mine for nearly a decade. In 2012 I graduated with a B.S. in Community Health from Indiana University in Bloomington, and I began working at The Milk Bank in 2015 as the operations and support assistant. After a little over a year at The Milk Bank I moved into the research assistant position.
During my time here I have had the amazing opportunity to learn about breastfeeding, human milk, and maternal and child health. I have been fortunate to be to apply this newfound knowledge and my academic education towards the promotion of breastfeeding in communities and improving health outcomes among the vulnerable infants we serve. In my spare time I enjoy reading, watching movies, bicycling, and yoga.
When attending culinary school on top of working in a professional kitchen, one discovers very quickly if "restaurant life" is the one for them. I am not one of those people. I was only just starting the process of shifting my life path when I was told about the opportunity to become a pasteurization tech at The Milk Bank. Instantly, I knew I had to give it a shot.
Thankfully, the amazing people there believed in me and gave me this chance to grow and develop myself, my passions, and my career. I hope to continue learning about lactation, midwifery, and support services for women while I do my part to make safe donor breast milk accessible to all infants and others who need it.
When I'm not at The Milk Bank, you can find me on an adventure, watching movies, or doing crafts with my dog, boyfriend, and our little guy. And yes, I do still love to cook!