This week’s CHAMPion of the week is Kathy Parkes, MSN-Ed, BSPsy, RN, IBCLC, FILCA. Kathy received the CHAMPion of the week award for being a huge motivator and inspiration for the breastfeeding program at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa New Braunfels, where she heads up the Baby-Friendly initiative. Among other things, Kathy runs childbirth classes, and she also developed Project E-Latch, an innovative program in which moms sign up to receive weekly emails for the first six weeks of their baby's birth from the Lactation Consultant. Kathy also mentors our two other CHAMPS-enrolled CHRISTUS hospitals, Children's Hospital in San Antonio, and CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Westover Hills
Kathy has over 20 years of experience in lactation and nursing in the San Antonio, TX area. Practicing in areas such as private practice, hospitals, NICUs, home health care, and with low-income populations has provided Kathy with a wide variety of lactation experiences. Her second private practice, Breastfeeding Perspectives, “aims to provide prenatal, postpartum, and lactation assistance in breastfeeding, health, essential oils, pre-and perinatal loss, and more on a HIPAA-compliant online platform.”
Kathy “fell” for her husband on a skydiving trip, as he was flying the airplane that she was jumping out of. They met and married on a skydiving drop zone, and have been married for 39 years, with two daughters and one son-in-law. Kathy’s passions include breastfeeding, education, babies, animals, travel, and whatever else she can fit into her schedule. Kathy likes to travel, but travels with her daughters, as her husband travelled the world during his 26 years of military service and doesn’t want to travel any more.
Kathy has known Anne Merewood for many years, and "knew immediately that any program Anne initiated would be research-based and well-run", so she quickly applied for her hospital to become part of CHAMPS. CHAMPS did a mock survey at New Braunfels.
“The survey was very helpful to our upcoming designation assessment visit,” Kathy said. “ It gave the BFHI Committee insight on any areas of weakness, which can be corrected prior to ‘the real thing’.” Kathy feels that “the quality of information provided from CHAMPS is top-notch”, and as CHAMPS grows, she expects it to “provide a myriad of educational opportunities for hospitals in the BFHI pathway.”
CHEER Champion of the week
Each week, 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).