About the Massachusetts Coordinating Center

From 2015-17, the WKKF supported the Massachusetts Statewide Quality Improvement (QI) Collaborative focused on increasing breastfeeding for VLBW infants and reducing racial/ethnic disparities. This project involved participation from all 10 level 3 NICUs. The teams collected data on more than 2000 families of VLBW infants and made significant improvements to hospital-based practices known to increase breastfeeding for VLBW infants, including prenatal education regarding human milk benefits, early milk expression within 6 hours of birth, and skin to skin care. We created written and video education materials in multiple languages for families and have disseminated them nationally. 


Our pilot work in MA was designed with the overarching goal to launch a national project to reduce racial/ethnic disparities in VLBW infant health outcomes. We are serving as the coordinating center for Mississippi and New Orleans by supporting them in their improvement work. 

Massachusetts Staff

Meg Parker, MD, MPH is a neonatologist with expertise in breastfeeding and reducing racial and ethnic disparities among vulnerable populations. She has advanced training in QI methods from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and currently is the Associate Director of the Neonatal Quality Improvement Collaborative of Massachusetts, making her an expert at systems change in hospital settings. Dr. Parker has spent nearly her entire medical career serving underserved population. She currently works at Boston Medical Center, the largest safety-net hospital in New England. Dr. Parker received a WKKF funded project to reduce racial/ethnic disparities in breastfeeding among VLBW infants in MA. Her work led to improvements in key hospital-practices related to breastfeeding support in this population, with multiple accompanying presentations and publications. Dr. Parker is currently the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Breastfeeding Education Chairperson. Dr. Parker is a mother of 3 young children. She donated more than 2000 ounces of her pumped breast milk.

 

Munish Gupta, MD, MMSc is a neonatologist, Director of the Neonatal Quality Improvement Collaborative of Massachusetts, and board member of the National Network of Perinatal Quality Improvement Collaboratives. Dr. Gupta will provide senior leadership expertise to the entire group in the conduct of multi-site perinatal quality improvement. 

Aviel Peaceman, MPH is the Program Manager for the Express Yourself Boston Coordinating Center. She is passionate about improving health outcomes for mothers and babies. Previously, she worked as a project manager for other neonatal quality improvement collaboratives. She pumped breastmilk for and breastfed her preterm son.

Patrice Melvin, MPH will serve as the senior data analyst. She works for the Patient Safety and Quality Division at Boston Children’s Hospital and she has expertise in quality improvement statistical analysis. She has a long history of collaboration with Drs. Parker and Gupta.

Express Yourself

Working to increase the use of mother’s own milk (MOM) in very low birth weight infants in Mississippi and New Orleans and reduce demographic and social disparities.

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The Express Yourself Project has been funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation from 2019-2022.

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