Where a Tulane Degree Can Take You
Community Health: Making Louisiana Breastfeeding Friendly
Jeanette Magnus, then chair of the department, encouraged the
university to position Tulane as a model for breastfeeding support
and soon after graduation Alb became the breastfeeding
initiatives program manager for MAC with the task of
making that happen.
"It's a testament to how helpful our faculty can
be," says Alb. "Getting employed is based on networking
and our faculty can play a huge role in that."
As the coordinator for breastfeeding initiatives at the Mary Amelia Women’s Center (MAC), she encourages women to know and understand their rights and also provides employers with technical assistance to help them earn the “Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace” designation.
If you are a woman living and working in Louisiana, Caitrin Hogan Alb wants you to know that your employer is legally required to support breastfeeding.
Alb started at Tulane as an undergrad with plans to earn the appropriate credits and transfer to a nursing program. Then Katrina happened. “I really wanted to stay,” she says. When she learned that Tulane had started a BSPH program, she realized the degree was a perfect fit. Continuing on for her MPH as part of the school’s combined degree program soon became a no-brainer.
“I really enjoyed the personal aspect of working with people. I realized that maternal child health was perfect for me,” she says.
Based on a guest lecture in one of her classes, Alb started a practicum with the Office of Public Health on an initiative to increase workplace breast-feeding support. In that role, she also became the Tulane point person for the university’s lactation support program, answering questions, providing the keys to lactation rooms, and resolving special accommodation needs.
In Washington, efforts were underway to make Alb’s skills and experience even more in demand when, in March 2010, a new federal law was passed requiring workplace support for breastfeeding women. Jeanette Magnus, then chair of the department, encouraged the university to position Tulane as a model for breastfeeding support and soon after graduation Alb became the breastfeeding initiatives program manager for MAC with the task of making that happen.
“It’s a testament to how helpful our faculty can be,” says Alb. “Getting employed is based on networking and our faculty can play a huge role in that.”
Alb has been at MAC since then and the program has grown thanks to support from the Kellogg Foundation and Baptist Community Ministries. She helps employers develop policies and come up with innovative solutions to make breastfeeding easy for working women. She also leads an awareness campaign targeted at large employers.
She’s gratified when employers tell her they just needed the push. Other parts of the world are way ahead of the U.S. in breastfeeding support, she says and notes that it’s a great feeling when she gets to use solutions that have worked globally right here in New Orleans.
A Developing Country || A Research Lab || A Hospital Board Room