HFC establishes first Lactation Consultant Program partnership in Michigan
H FC and Ascension St. John Hospital in Detroit have launched a Lactation Consultant Program, a certification program accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
The program allows students to become International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC), a healthcare profession specializing in the clinical management of breastfeeding.
HFC is the first academic Pathway 2 IBCLC training program in Michigan. The IBCLC certification – the highest level of lactation support offered – allows graduates to work in a variety of settings: birthing centers, clinics, hospitals, neonatal intensive care units, and more.
This certification program is a partnership with Ascension under the direction of Dr. Paula Schreck. It came from Ascension’s Mother Nurture Network, part of a far-reaching lactation support and education program funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, and the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan.
Pathway 2 criteria at HFC
CAAHEP-accredited programs provide classroom instruction and clinical experience, which qualify graduates for the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners Pathway 2 certification exam.
The program requirements are:
• Health sciences education at HFC
• 90 hours of lactation-specific education taught by Schreck at Ascension
• 400 hours of supervised clinical time at an Ascension-affiliated hospital with an experienced IBCLC clinical instructor and IBCLC clinical preceptors
The program’s faculty contact at HFC is Dr. Cynthia Scheuer. The first program cohort began in the Fall 2019 semester at HFC with six students.
“This is an excellent program,” said Scheuer. “We have had a lot of interest from students and the community. We have a wonderful relationship with Ascension, and Dr. Schreck and her team are wonderful colleagues.”
HFC offers one of nine programs in the world
The HFC program is unique in several ways:
- It is one of only nine CAAHEP-accredited lactation programs in the world
- It is the only CAAHEP-accredited program in Michigan
- It is the only CAAHEP-accredited program offered to undergraduate students
- It is the only CAAHEP-accredited program offered to non-nursing majors
“Our goal is to provide pathways for community members to obtain these credentials,” said Schreck. “The program is designed to increase accessibility by decreasing costs and by integrating into a college. Ascension does not require additional clinical fees, and the program is eligible for financial aid.”
The partnership will benefit both organizations, and students most of all. “We are thrilled to be partnering with HFC," Schreck added. "We were attracted to the College's commitment to inclusion, diversity, and innovation. This mirrors our commitment to increasing diversity in professional education and ensuring broad access. We look forward to growing into a far-reaching lactation learning community.”
For more information on the Lactation Consulting Program at HFC, call 313-845-9877.