OLCA Diversity Scholarship
In Ohio, breastfeeding rates are greatly affected by racial and socioeconomic health disparities. Well established breastfeeding helps to reduce infant mortality. Lactation consultants play a key role in successful breastfeeding. However, there is disparity in access to culturally matched lactation consultants across diverse communities. Equitable representation among health care professionals is needed to reduce disparities. There are times when financial barriers can interfere with those aspiring to become lactation consultants. Diverse and active representation in state associations is imperative in helping to overcome healthcare racial injustice and disparities among diverse groups in the field of lactation. Yet financial and cultural misperceptions may inadvertently discourage participation. As OLCA strives to improve access to the lactation consultant profession and welcome diverse voices within the association through advocacy work across the state, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee offers diversity scholarships to coincide with National Breastfeeding Month and Black Breastfeeding Week in August of each year.