FULTON - Students and employees returning for the fall semester at Cayuga Community College’s Fulton Campus will find a new addition that expectant mothers and mothers with new born babies will be excited to see. Thanks to a grant from the Rural Health Network of Oswego County, Cayuga Community College (CCC) Fulton Campus now features a newly remodeled lactation room.
CCC Wellness and Intervention Counselor Christina Bentley discovered the opportunity after attending a lunch and learn on lactation rooms sponsored by The Rural Health Network and REACH CNY.
“As a member of the Oswego County Breastfeeding Coalition I am well aware of the many benefits of breastfeeding,” said Bentley. “When I let the Cayuga Community College president and deans know that the Rural Health Network was awarding grants for lactation rooms they were very supportive of applying for the grant and updating our space for nursing mothers.”
Upon being awarded the grant CCC began work on its new lactation room. “The grant allowed us to purchase items to make our lactation room cozier and more comfortable. We added a new chair, wall art, pumping supplies, breastfeeding materials and more; including a refrigerator so that mothers are able to store their milk while at work or in class,” explained Bentley.
“Our new lactation room is available to all employees and students. It has added an even more welcoming feeling to our already inclusive environment. Our campus faculty and staff strive to ensure that students know they have support here in every way. They realize that life comes with its challenges and struggles. Our new lactation room lets moms returning to work or school know that there is support here for them so that they can achieve their goals while still being a mother,” added Bentley.
To date the Rural Health Network has established lactation rooms at the Mother Earth Baby in Oswego, OCO’s WIC office in Oswego, and at the Oswego County Health Department in Oswego. Plans are currently underway for the establishment of additional lactation rooms in the near future.
“We’re excited to spearheading such a worthwhile project,” said Coordinator of Community Health for the Rural Health Network Leanna Cleveland. “Increasing the knowledge of the health benefits of breastfeeding and encouraging support for breastfeeding helps to create a positive environmental change for our communities.”
Operating under the auspices of Oswego County Opportunities, Inc., the Rural Health Network is a consortium of health care providers and human service providers in Oswego County. Working together the members take a collaborative approach to addressing major health issues that exist in Oswego County. For more information on the Rural Health Network of Oswego County visit www.oco.org.