Charlene H.Collier MD, MPH, MHS, FACOG is originally from New Jersey, but lives in Mississippi with her husband Gerald and new baby Jordan. She was an undergraduate, and medical school, at Brown University and received a MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health. She trained in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Yale New Haven Hospital and then completed the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program at Yale. Currently she serves as the Perinatal Health Consultant for the Mississippi State Department of Health where she direct initiatives and conduct epidemiological research in maternal and infant health. She is also the Director of the Mississippi Perinatal Quality Collaborative (MSPQC) which launched in 2014 to bring evidence based quality improvement projects to improve birth outcomes in Mississippi. In addition to her many roles she is also a practicing OB/Gyn at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
As Director of the Mississippi MSPQC, Charlene brings her knowledge to CHAMPS to support improved breastfeeding practices in Mississippi. MSPQC hosted their first annual meeting in November 2014 and invited CHAMPS to present to representatives from over 30 birthing hospitals in the state. MSPQC is currently working to help more hospitals support breastfeeding and work towards Baby-Friendly status.
“Our biggest accomplishment was organizing all of the stakeholders and interested partners together to collectively pool our resources, talents and energy to increase breastfeeding in Mississippi at the November meeting. We can do so much more together than individually, so it is exciting to see connections and collaborations being formed across the state.”
The thing she enjoys most about being involved with CHAMPS? “It is great collaborating with experienced partners who bring passion, expertise and much needed resources to our state to increase breastfeeding”
As CHAMPS grows, Charlene hopes to see more hospitals in Mississippi adopt the core practices that lead to increased breastfeeding including routine skin-to-skin, rooming in and providing expert support through certified lactation consultants. She also believes Mississippi will have some hospitals Baby-Friendly designated.
As a new mother, Charlene, enjoys hanging out with her 12 week old baby Jordan. She is a proud breastfeeding mother, who fully understands the importance of supporting and educating mothers to successfully breastfeed. “Breastfeeding was tough at the start and the help I received from my doctor, lactation consultant, hospital nurses and other mothers was extremely important. I look forward to helping more mothers to breastfeed in Mississippi.
Congratulations Dr. Charlene for being our CHAMPion of the Week and on the addition of baby Jordan to your family. Because of your work CHAMPS is changing lives and perceptions of breastfeeding in Mississippi.
Paula V. Bugg, a true ATLien and beloved DAWG fan, is our CHAMPion of the Week! She completed her undergraduate degree at The University of Georgia and she recently received her Master of Biological Science degree from Mississippi College. Paula works as Communications and Media Coordinator for ROSE (Reaching Our Sister Everywhere). ROSE and CHAMPS work closely together to provide Community Transformers Trainings. As a member of the CHAMPS team, Paula trains with others on breastfeeding promotion, protection, and support.
“My biggest accomplishment is being able to successfully teach the moms the information given to me,” says Paula. I love getting responses from moms expressing their AH-HA moments from the session that I taught.” Being able to have that community involvement with mothers and others is what Paula appreciates the most. She loves how CHAMPS brings together healthcare professionals and the people of their community to educate and bridge communication gaps.
Paula says her expectations of CHAMPS are “To expand CHAMPS connections within communities. CHAMPS is currently working with hospitals across the United States AND members of the communities in which the hospitals reside. As CHAMPS continues to expand, I expect their reach to encompass professional students (nursing, medical, etc.) and schools so that CHAMPS material can be taught to future healthcare professionals.”
Paula loves having plans and always moving. During the summer, she enjoys rock climbing and water rafting with friends. Pollen permitting, she loves going to the numerous outdoor festivals Atlanta has to offer, such as the Dogwood and Jazz Festival.
Paula participated in a study abroad program while at The University of Georgia. She traveled to and around Ecuador teaching elementary school aged children about forest conservation, as well as visiting the ocean, , where she saw stingrays and sharks in the natural habitat. “It was AH-mazing, I definitely want to go back”
Thank you Paula V. Bugg for all that you do for CHAMPS and you’re up-beat spirit and eagerness you possess to help mothers learn about breastfeeding. Congratulations for being our CHAMPion of the Week.
Note: This post has been transferred from CHAMPSbreastfeed.org. There were originally 2 comments. You can view them in this document.
Behind this warm smile and big heart is our CHAMPion of the Week, Chelesa Presley. She was born in Columbus, MS and raised in southeast Lowndes County near the Columbus, MS. She attended Mississippi State University where she majored in Industrial Engineering. Chelesa loves country living, wide open spaces, and closeness to nature, and currently lives in southwest Panola County, MS.
Chelesa works as an Outreach Coordinator, Certified Lactation Educator, and Certified Child Passenger Safety Instructor at Tougaloo College/Delta HealthPartners Health Start Initiative. She will also sit for the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) exam in 2016.
As a member of the CHAMPS team she serves as a ROSE Community Transformer in which she enjoys the way the community and families who are directly affected are involved throughout this CHAMPS movement of change. Her biggest accomplishment thus far has been “mobilizing the community and getting families informed about CHAMPS; thus, allowing them to network and advocate the CHAMPS program with their medical communities.”
CHAMPS is reaching new levels each day, as this process matures expectations and goals increase simultaneously. Chelesa states “my goals for CHAMPS are to enlist more hospitals, OB clinics, and community participates in becoming more baby –friendly minded thus becoming family – friendly. I also would like CHAMPS to maintain these relationships by continuing to offer communities the latest information in maternal-child health.”
“My personal goals in life are prepare my children for achieving their dreams and passions in their lives, by giving them a foundation in faith, education, respect, and compassion; and to one day become a midwife. By doing so, I would like to my own my own birthing center where doulas, midwifes, childbirth educators, lactation counselors, nutritionists, and doctors work together to bring back the natural birthing process. I am hopeful, that my life endeavors will encourage and give others hope in spiritual matters.”
Chelesa is a wife to Julian Presley and mother of 3 to Javon 19, Ciera 15, and Jensen 11. Although Chelesa is goal-driven and works hard, she takes time to attend church related activities, volunteer, and support her children in their activities, traveling, camping, and reading. One day she would love to travel to the island of Bora Bora, because the beaches and islands possess some of her favorite things, nature and open spacesJ!
“I love meeting, helping, and serving people. I also believe you can never stop learning and giving back.” This statement embodies a true CHAMPion of the Week. Chelesa we appreciate the time, effort, and work to you pour into CHAMPS to see that it not only is successful, but beneficial to the community. Congratulations Chelesa Presley for being our CHAMPion of the Week and well wishes on your journey to becoming an IBCLC!
Note: This post has been transferred from CHAMPSbreastfeed.org. There were originally 5 comments. You can view them in this document.
Who is this happy vibrant woman sitting in the grass? It is our CHAMPion of the Week Zola Pickett! She was born and raised on the outskirts of Greenville, Mississippi, a place where culture has richly influenced her life. It has also inspired her advocacy work to help improve quality of life in the Mississippi Delta. As a community health worker, Zola uses her background and up-bringing to foster change in the Mississippi Delta. She is a community-based doula trainer, she runs her own business as a doula, and she is an office manager for the Northeast Mississippi Birthing Project in Tupelo, Mississippi.
As a community collaborator for CHAMPS, Zola works as a liaison with the Northeast Mississippi Birthing Project. The thing she enjoys the most about being a part of CHAMPS “is the active, focused collaboration between community health workers and hospitals. I tell birth workers/breastfeeding advocates often: hospitals and obstetricians are NOT our enemy! When everyone (nurses, LCs, OBs, hospital administrators) comes to the table willing to review evidence, listen to each other, and make the best decisions regarding a better birth and breastfeeding experience that is when progress is made.”
When asked what she felt was her biggest accomplishment thus far working with CHAMPS Zola replied, “At the beginning of March 2015, myself, Anne, and Laura of the CHAMPS team were in Tupelo to tour our local women's hospital and have a meeting with the staff to discuss the possibility of our hospital pursuing a Baby-Friendly Hospital designation. I was able to see the hospital at work in a different way than I normally would as a doula attending a birth, and have more in-depth conversations with staff members. It was very gratifying to have the opportunity for all of us to sit together and begin building relationships; it was even more exciting to see all of the work that our doctors, nurses, and LCs are already doing which puts our hospital well on its way to achieving a Baby-Friendly status!”
“Before I even look to the future, I think it’s wonderful how many smaller, more rural hospitals are interested in and excited about the work that CHAMPS is doing in Mississippi! Normally I would have expected larger hospitals to come on board first, with rural locations being hesitant. Looking ahead to the future of CHAMPS, I would love to see 100% of Mississippi hospitals participating (of course!), and I would also love to maintain a connection that could be helpful in supporting the development of multiple community-based breastfeeding peer groups.”
When Zola gets a chance to enjoy her vast amounts of spare time, which may be an understatement, she works as spiritual facilitator/ceremony-maker, creating mixed-media art, and belly dancing! Her enjoyment for these hobbies warrants her desire to travel to the island of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea; in order to study and spend time in the Hypogeum, a prehistoric underground temple with interesting spiritual implications regarding birth and death. Although Zola doesn’t have children her passion for helping individuals translates to her giving care to several aging family members. She often finds her becoming her mother and saying very parental things.
“I am very happy to have made friends through the CHAMPS program, and I look forward to carrying the mission further than any of us can imagine!” Thank you Zola for all of the work and time you invest in making the Mississippi Delta Baby-Friendly. We couldn’t let your work go unnoticed.
Note: This post has been transferred from CHAMPSbreastfeed.org. There were originally 3 comments. You can view them in this document.
CHEER Champion of the week
Each Monday (besides public holidays), we will recognize a CHEER Champion for all the work they have done for CHEER (Center for Health Equity, Education, and Research)/CHAMPS (Communities and Hospitals Advancing Maternity Practices).