Release Date: 
Thursday, June 18, 2020

Becoming an IBCLC is “part of the dream” for Lauren Fisher

Photo of Lauren Fisher, Nudrat Jehan, and Halah Hassan in class
From left to right: Lauren Fisher, Nudrat Jehan, and Halah Hassan are students in HFC's Lactation Consultant Program.

Lauren Fisher is proud and excited to be part of the first cohort of students to graduate from the HFC Lactation Consultant Program (LCP), a partnership between the College and Ascension St. John Hospital in Detroit, which was established in the Fall 2019 Semester.

“I’ll be honest, this is part of the dream! Being part of a pioneering program is so exciting!” said Fisher, of Dearborn, who is a mother of five.

A Dearborn High School alumna, Fisher has a bachelor’s degree in social work from Wayne State University. She earned her certification from the LCP in May.

“I love that HFC is engaged in the community!” she said.

HFC is the first Academic Pathway 2 IBCLC training program in Michigan

Accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), the LCP is a certification program that 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, and is the only CAAHEP-accredited program in Michigan. It is the only CAAHEP-accredited program offered to both undergraduate students and to non-nursing majors. It is one of only nine CAAHEP-accredited lactation programs in the world. CAAHEP-accredited programs provide classroom instruction and clinical experience, which qualify graduates for the IBCLC Examiners Pathway 2 certification exam.

This LCP is directed by Dr. Paula Schreck. Dr. Cynthia Scheuer, lead faculty of the HFC Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) program, is the College faculty contact for the LCP.

“The program is built on the belief that training at the highest level of lactation support should be accessible to everyone in the community to serve the community,” said Schreck. “Our first class of skilled and motivated women will be changing the face of lactation, breaking out of the hospital mold to join a small but growing community lactation workforce. We are very proud and can't wait to see how they apply their education to improve outcomes for the families in Southeast Michigan.”

“I knew (this program) was for me”

“The moment I heard about this program, I knew it was for me. Breastfeeding has always been a favorite part of motherhood for me. It has also been difficult for me at times, proving my strength and strong will, but also helping me to realize that moms need more support to successfully breastfeed,” said Fisher.

The clinical portion of the LCP was the most challenging, according to Fisher. It really kept her on her toes.

“Dr. Schreck likes to ask interns questions on the spot to see how much they know, and it can be a little scary. But the challenge pushed me to study and any time I got something right, I felt like I was on top of the world,” she recalled. “Dr. Schreck is an inspiration. I have been so fortunate to work with her and learn from her.”

“This program has given me the chance to serve mothers and their babies”

For Fisher, there were two parts of the LCP that really stood out. The first was the chance to work with so many IBCLCs, which is something not many IBCLCs in training are always able to do. The second was working in the breastfeeding clinic. She has seen breastfeeding dyads that she never would have the chance to see otherwise.

“The breastfeeding clinic has enriched my knowledge in so many ways. I hope to continue to serve mothers and their babies! I would be happy to work in the hospital, in the community, or with mothers in their homes,” she said. “This program has given me the chance to serve mothers and their babies.”

“We are lucky to have this program in our area”

“This program allows people who want to become IBCLCs the unique opportunity to work in a hospital with many IBCLCs,” she said. “Without this program, it is very difficult to gain enough hours and lactation specific education. We are very lucky to have this program in our area. We will see a growth of breastfeeding support, exclusivity, and duration in the years to come because of this program.”

For more information about the Lactation Consulting Program at HFC, call 313-845-9877.