This week’s CHEER Champion of the Week is Judy Ellzey, CLC, Peer Counselor 3 and Special Projects Officer 1 with the Mississippi State Department of Health’s (MSDH) WIC Breastfeeding Program. She was nominated by a past supervisor, Shellie Evans, AA, BS, CLC, for 23 years of compassionate and dedicated service to the MSDH WIC Breastfeeding Program!
“I love seeing women succeed and reach their goals,” Judy shares. “When I breastfed my fist daughter, I did not have much support, so I understand when moms feel unsure. Giving them knowledge that I have gained over the last 28 years so they can reach their goals encourages me to keep doing my work.”
As a WIC Peer Counselor 3 and Special Projects Officer 1, Judy covers a large rural area and a high number of clients. She services 5 counties, teaching prenatal classes, and making hospital and home visits. She works with local hospitals on their pathway to becoming Baby-Friendly and on their Memorandums of Understanding with WIC. She has also organized and is the lead for the MISS-LOU breastfeeding support group in Natchez, and she volunteers at the Circle of Moms’ Baby Café cluster locations.
In addition to her role with WIC, Judy is a pastor’s wife and member of Junior Auxiliary. In these roles, she volunteers when needed in the community and organizes special community service projects.
What personally motivates Judy to do the work she does? Like many lactation counselors and consultants, Judy finds the work itself motivates her and is full of rewards:
“Hearing a mom tell me she would not have made it very far on her breastfeeding journey without my help,” she says. “Seeing a mom that was having a very rough start sticking with it and breastfeeding for one year or more. Also, having moms who I helped with breastfeeding refer their grown children to me for help.”
Judy is currently working towards meeting the requirements to take the IBCLC exam.
Congratulations, Judy, and best wishes to you and your valuable work!
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).