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Excellence in Breastfeeding Awards

To highlight breastfeeding excellence in the State of Idaho, the Idaho Breastfeeding Coalition has created a few annual awards to acknowledge the importance of individuals, groups of advocates or organizations in fulfilling the IBC Mission and Vision to protect, support and promote breastfeeding as the biological norm for a healthier Idaho.

These annual awards will be presented to those who have shown exceptional dedication, creativity, and leadership in facilitating environments where barriers to breastfeeding are addressed within their communities.

Individual Award: The Dr. Jane Grassley Excellence in Breastfeeding Award
Group Award: Excellence in Breastfeeding Leadership Award
Employer: BEST Family Leave Benefits

Past Award Recipients:

2018: Dr. Jane Grassley, RN, PhD, IBCLC, ICCE of Boise, Idaho

2019: Cindy Galloway, RD, LD, IBCLC of Boise, Idaho

2020: postponed to 2021 due to COVID 19

2021: Patricia Hennequin, BSN, RN, IBCLC of Emmett, Idaho

2022: Elizabeth "Betsy" Ayers, BSN, RN, IBCLC of Caldwell, Idaho

2018 recipient:   Dr. Jane Grassley
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In 2004, Dr. Jane Grassley wrote her dissertation on Understanding Maternal Breastfeeding Confidence, a subject matter that illuminated throughout her career. In a number of publications, honors and awards received on topics ranging from a grandmother's role in supporting breastfeeding to supporting adolescents in childbirth, nurturing breastfeeding confidence has been a common theme in her research. A theme that shines in her love and passion for the new family and has made her the mentor she is today.


Dr. Grassley graduated from University of Oklahoma School of Nursing in 1974; she then traveled the US furthering her education and deepening her passion to nurture and support breastfeeding mothers, babies and families. She pursued a Masters in Maternal Child Nursing from University of Washington, Theological Studies from Fuller Seminary in Seattle WA and later a PhD in Nursing from Texas Women's University.


Dr. Grassley moved to the Northwest in 2010, and joined the faculty at Boise State University School of Nursing. She is now professor of nursing and the Jody DeMeyer Endowed Chair in Nursing. She holds a joint appointment with Women’s Services at St. Luke’s Regional Health System where she collaborates with the hospitals’ lactation consultants to develop research and evidence-based practice projects that support breastfeeding.


As an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) for 20 years, her research has focused on areas related to promoting and supporting breastfeeding. Her current research focuses on the uses of mobile technologies in facilitating community support for mother’s breastfeeding a late preterm or early term infant. Her focus is always invested in understanding how we can nurture mothers’ breastfeeding confidence.


2019 Jane Grassley
Breastfeeding Award of Excellence recipient:

Cindy Galloway

CYNTHIA GALLOWAY, RDN, LD, IBCLC, A mother of 9 and grandmother of 28, is a lover of life, faith, family and friends. She spends her free time with her husband Dave recreating in the mountains and rivers of Idaho and sharing time with loved ones. A graduate of Bingham Young University in 1976, Cindy pursued a career as a registered dietitian nutritionist and later IBCLC, which paved a career of nourishing breastfeeding families in Idaho.

Cindy is a Senior Public Health Registered Dietitian, Breastfeeding Coordinator and Peer Counseling Manager for the WIC Program at Central District Health Department in Boise, Idaho. CDH is blessed by Cindy’s leadership, compassion and dedication to Public Health, Peer Counselors, and WIC staff and families.

Cindy was the Founding Chair of the Idaho Breastfeeding Coalition, in which She co-chaired the First and Second Annual Idaho Breastfeeding Summits in 2017 and 2018. She continues to serve on the IBC Board and the Summit Planning Committee in 2019. She also facilitates the Treasure Valley Breastfeeding Coalition.

Cindy coauthored Education for WIC Peer Counselors about Breastfeeding the Late Preterm Infant published in the Journal of Nutrition, Education and Behavior. This partnership lead to further engagements such as presenting how “the Idaho Breastfeeding Coalition facilitates Hospital and WIC Community Partnership” for the CDC-USBC Bi-monthly Coalitions Webinar Series, She was a speaker at the 2018 National WIC Association Annual Education and Training Conference and most recently this partnership was presented in a webinar for ILCA, Bridging the Gap: A Partnership between a Hospital System and Public Health (WIC) Breastfeeding Peer Counselors and Staff.

Under her leadership the CDH WIC Agency was the Recipient of the Gold Premier United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Services; WIC Loving Support Award of Excellence for Exemplary Breastfeeding Support and Practices.

Cindy's has a passion supporting and advocating breastfeeding families and has helped lay the foundation for the IBC. Nominated by her coworkers at WIC, Community Partners and friends, Cindy Galloway is the 2nd recipient of the Jane Grassley Breastfeeding Excellence Award.

2021 Jane Grassley
Breastfeeding Award of Excellence recipient:

Patricia "Pattie" Hennequin

Patricia Hennequin, BSN, RN, IBCLC, graduated from Boise State University, earning a BS in Nursing in 2003.  In 2009, a few years after the birth of her son, she decided to follow her passion and pursue a career in Maternal-Child Nursing. With the desire to broaden her bed side skills in Labor and Delivery, she trained as a Doula and Childbirth Educator, opening the door to adult education for expecting families.   She quickly learned that assisting mothers in lactation was a natural fit and fell in line with her love to educate.  Certified as an IBCLC in 2012, Pattie now works with new mothers at St. Alphonsus in Boise on Postpartum, NICU and Pediatrics in-patient units and in the outpatient setting.

As a Senior Lactation Consultant at St. Alphonsus, she is responsible for curriculum and program development for the Lactation Department including the prenatal breastfeeding class for expecting parents and staff perinatal breastfeeding education in both inpatient and outpatient settings. She facilitates the Breastfeeding Mothers'  weekly support group and Pumping for Work and School. 

Pattie has shared her skills with other professionals in the Treasure Valley and Eastern Oregon through teaching breastfeeding workshops with an emphasis on teaching the adult learner.  In 2016, Pattie joined the Idaho Breastfeeding Coalitions Board and has played an instrumental role in the planning and facilitating the Annual Idaho Breastfeeding Summit in 2017, 2018 and 2019. With enthusiasm and great vision for the Coalitions presence in the State of Idaho, Pattie was elected Vice Chair of the IBC in 2019.  


In her free time you will find Pattie with her family on her small acreage farm in Emmett, Idaho. There you will find her nurturing their menagerie of animals,  or with her hands deep in garden soil, or  soaking up the elements exploring Idaho’s wild lands on ski’s, in a raft, or good old fashioned hiking boots.


2022 Jane Grassley
Breastfeeding Award of Excellence recipient: 

Elizabeth "Betsy" Ayers

Betsy began her lactation support journey with the La Leche League during her first pregnancy. She describes her experiences this way.

“I was working as a postpartum RN at the Harvard teaching hospital,
Brigham and Women’s in Boston. My education about breastfeeding during
my BSN at Creighton in the late 70’s was sorely lacking. For example, I remember teaching that staying latched for a very short time, a few minutes, would prevent sore nipples. I guess that might work if you were able to latch very frequently. Of course this was not the case at that time, since babies were expected to only nurse at scheduled times. We planned a home birth and attended birthing classes that included breastfeeding education taught by our midwife. We knew very few couples with babies and did not live near our families.

Neither my husband nor I had been breastfed. My mom had twilight sleep (morphine/scopolamine) and doesn’t remember holding me for the first week. My husband’s mother said she had a breast infection and was unable to nurse. The nurses I worked with nursed only until they returned to work in six-to-eight weeks.
I did know that the benefits of breastfeeding were supposed to last much longer. I sought out other women that had successfully breastfed and found my tribe with LLL in a suburb outside of Boston. This is where I observed happy and healthy babies and toddlers nursing. My bible was the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding which
encouraged ‘awake and aware’ childbirth and prenatal breastfeeding education including attending monthly LLL meetings with focus on early stages of latching to nutrition and weaning.

I became a LLL Leader after our second daughter was born in the late 1980’s after we moved to rural PA outside of Allentown. I had met the prerequisites for Leadership including nursing for at least one year, choosing to introduce complementary foods when we observed readiness and acknowledging that breastfeeding is the optimal way to nourish, nurture and comfort the baby. I found that I really enjoyed sharing what had worked for my family with other women, and offering mother to mother support.

Another tenant of LLL Leaders was to provide education, as well as use listening skills, to empower women to make decisions about feeding their children along with their health care provider. I was inspired by
another RN who was an IBCLC at the hospital where I worked part-time in labor and delivery to become an Area Professional Liaison between health care providers and other LLL Leaders to answer more technical
and legal questions.

After moving across the country to Caldwell Idaho in the early 90’s, I continued to be a LLL Leader and most of my friendships developed from these early groups. These friendships continue to today, 30 years later. Boise and surrounding Canyon Country and Ontario OR had at least 20 Leaders with numerous monthly meetings including basic series meetings, evaluation meetings and toddler meetings. I was also involved in robust family celebrations for World Breastfeeding Week including picnics in the park with community vendors and record- setting Latch-On’s.

I sponsored an educational human lactation opportunity featuring nursing LLL mothers in my husband’s developmental biology class at College of Idaho. This was an eye-opening experience for both male and female students. LLL also sponsored Molly Pessl RN, BSN, IBCLC, FILCA from Evergreen hospital, the 1st Baby Friendly Hospital in the US, who presented a breastfeeding educational program at St Luke’s Hospital.

Another one of my LLL accomplishments, is starting the first LLL group in Singapore during my husband’s six-month sabbatical there in late 90’s. I was also able to meet and get to know the first IBCLC in Asia, Doris Fok. I became an IBCLC in 1993 and continued as a Lactation Consultant at St. Luke’s initially in Boise, then
developed current Lactation Programs at Meridian and Nampa. I retired from LLL after 30 years. All in all, La Leche League and mothering through breastfeeding has provided guidance in both my professional and personal life.”

Award Selection Process and Application

Nominations for both Awards will be open until May 20, 2023. The Idaho Breastfeeding Coalition Board Members will make the selection and the recipients will be awarded at the 6th Annual Idaho Breastfeeding Summit in Boise, Idaho, June 22-23, 2023. 

Submit your nomination form online below,  or

download the form and email it to us at: 

Online Nomination Form 
The Nominee(s) Resides in the State of Idaho
Which award are you submitting this nomination for?

Thank you for submitting your nomination!

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