Northwell Receives $1.2M Funding For Breastfeeding Initiative

The New York State Department of Health provided grants to support breastfeeding initiatives.

Long Island Jewish Medical Center will receive $1.2 million over the next five years from the New York State Department of Health to promote, protect and support breastfeeding in Nassau and Suffolk counties.  

The goal is to build networks where families are supported and encouraged to meet their breastfeeding goals. The initiative expands community-based breastfeeding coalitions while increasing NYS Breastfeeding Friendly designations in obstetric and pediatric practices and child care/day care centers. In addition, mothers will be supported during their transition as they return to what will become breastfeeding friendly worksites. Mothers also can find both peer and professional support at Baby Cafes, which are local meeting sites which will be established to further promote this breastfeeding initiative.

“Breastfeeding has many preventive health benefits for infants and mothers. We are aiming to create a breastfeeding-friendly care continuum in targeted Long Island communities to help mothers achieve their breastfeeding goals and reduce disparities in breastfeeding rates,” said Henry Bernstein, MD, MHCM, Professor of Pediatrics at Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine and this grant’s Principal Investigator.

Studies have shown that breastfed babies are less likely to develop certain illnesses, such as stomach, chest and ear infections, asthma, diabetes and obesity. There is also evidence that suggests breastfeeding mothers are at lower risk for developing breast and ovarian cancer.

“Families will be educated perinatally in obstetric and pediatric offices to assure optimal support for breastfeeding moms,” said Dr. Bernstein. “Breastfeeding mothers also will be supported at their child care/day care centers and work places. We anticipate that through our collaborative efforts, more mothers will have access to the breastfeeding support, education and resources that they need to be successful.”

Five other organizations will also receive grants for the initiative in New York City and upstate New York.


About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 21 hospitals and over 550 outpatient facilities. We care for more than two million people annually in the metro New York area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 61,000 employees – 15,000+ nurses and nearly 3,400 physicians, including nearly 2,700 members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine and the School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. And we offer health insurance through CareConnect. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit