Public Health News

Is your practice breastfeeding friendly?

Tarayn Fairlie, MD, MPH, Chair – EPIC Breastfeeding Education Program Advisory Committee

Have you noticed that more of your patients are breastfeeding? You aren’t imagining things-breastfeeding rates in Georgia are increasing. However, many mothers still don’t reach their breastfeeding goals, and studies cite lack of support from health care providers as one of the reasons for not meeting them. Georgia families need physicians who can actively support breastfeeding them.  Yet between 43% and 50% pediatricians, neonatologists, obstetricians/gynecologists, and family medicine physicians don’t feel they were adequately prepared for clinical evaluation of breastfeeding problems, and a similar proportion feel that they were inadequately prepared for clinical treatment of breastfeeding problems. This isn’t surprising, as there is little or no formal instruction on breastfeeding and human lactation in medical schools.  The EPIC Breastfeeding Program is here to help fill this gap for practicing physicians and can either jumpstart a big shift for your practice or be the impetus for small improvements. The modules and resources of the EPIC program can help you develop your skills and further develop your practice. EPIC has resources available to assist you to develop, enhance and/or update your skills. Here are some ways EPIC can help you better support breastfeeding families:

Start at the beginning! We know that a mother’s prenatal intention to breastfeed is strongly influenced by input from and support of her physician.  If you see expectant parents, encourage them to breastfeed and answer any questions they might have about breastfeeding. Another good place to start is to track breastfeeding rates in your practice. Knowing what your patient population is doing can be helpful at setting practical goals to help mothers adhere to AAP recommendations for breastfeeding: exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months of age and then continued breastfeeding until at least age 1. Through our modules, we can help train support staff and providers to have open-ended conversations about infant feeding that assesses an expectant mother’s breastfeeding intention in a comfortable, non-pressured way.

Look at your practice environment. What are you currently promoting? Do parents see formula companies represented in your practice? Do you still provide free formula gift packs or have formula marketing materials from your waiting area? Ensuring that your patient education is free of commercial influence is an important step in supporting informed feeding choices for all new families, whether breastfeeding or not.   Our resource kit includes samples of well- designed and up-to-date patient education materials in English and Spanish.

Put it in writing. Collaborate with staff to develop a written breastfeeding policy for your practice.  We can provide examples and guidance. A clear policy can ensure that your staff are supported when they return to work by providing space, time and supplies to express milk for their babies, increasing both their job satisfaction and performance.

Offer culturally competent feeding care. Different cultures have varying beliefs and customs relating to infant feeding.  Knowing them and providing appropriate anticipatory guidance can improve your practice and your customer satisfaction ratings. Do you and your staff encourage breastfeeding in the waiting area and provide a private place if desired? Having posters and signs welcoming and encouraging breastfeeding can help parents feel comfortable and supported.  We provide samples in our Resource Kit.

Triage breastfeeding concerns easily. Your phone triage nurses should be provided with training and resources to provide evidence-based recommendations to families calling for advice.  Our Resource Kit includes the AAP published Breastfeeding Telephone Triage and Advice book, 3rd edition.  Our one-hour breastfeeding education programs can provide this education, as well as continuing education hours for nurses and physicians, at no cost to your office.

Make it part of the visit. Our training will also help guide you in incorporating breastfeeding into routine care.  Learn what effective breastfeeding looks like, what mothers’ common concerns are, and what strategies to employ that preserve breastfeeding and milk production if/when problems arise.  Learn about milk expression and how to support mothers when they return to work or school. Our program also provides resources on coding, billing, and documentation so you can be paid for the work that you do!

Learn who else can help. When further breastfeeding expertise or peer support is indicated, it’s helpful to be familiar with lactation support in your community and where families can find it.  Also, more and more pediatricians, ob/gyns and family practice physicians whose practices see many newborns are directly hiring or contracting with lactation consultants to provide care in the office.  Accessible breastfeeding support can help your practice attract new and growing families, and Georgia is one of the first states to license lactation consultants.

Schedule your EPIC Breastfeeding Program today.  Let us provide you with resources to make your practice more breastfeeding friendly.  We offer convenient, physician-led, peer-to-peer breastfeeding education in your office or hospital. Our modules are one-hour sessions held during lunch or any time that is more convenient. Each program site receives a free Breastfeeding Resource Kit as part of the presentation, with resources for you, your staff and your patients. There are three topics to choose from: Breastfeeding Fundamentals, Supporting Breastfeeding in the Hospital, and Advanced Breastfeeding Support. Free continuing education is provided.  Complete an online program request form at or call the program office at 404-881-5068. The EPIC Breastfeeding Program is brought to you by the Georgia Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics with support from the Georgia Department of Public Health.


The Georgia Academy Awarded AAFP Chapter Health Equity Planning Grant

The Georgia Academy Awarded AAFP Chapter Health Equity Planning Grant

The Georgia Academy of Family Physicians (GAFP) was selected to receive a $5,000 grant to participate in the AAFP Chapter Health Equity Planning Grants Program. The intent of the Program is to promote collaboration between the AAFP and AAFP chapters in establishing chapter health equity plans. A health equity plan is a set of goals and tactics that describe how the chapter will work to advance health equity. Health equity refers to the elimination of differences in health that are closely linked with social or economic disadvantage among population groups based on race/ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, gender, mental health, sexual orientation, or geographic location.

For more information about the AAFP Chapter Health Equity Planning Grants Program please contact Kevin Kovach at (913) 906-6143 or

Register Now for the June Webinar – Models of Transition of Care: Autism


DPH Webinar

“Models of Transition of Care: Autism”

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Click Here to Register link 

The Georgia Academy of Family Physicians, in cooperation with the Department of Public Health invites you to participate in an interactive live webinar on Transition of Care: Autism.

The webinar will focus on providing guidance on how to plan and execute better health care transitions for patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder and will cover the following objectives:

  • Define transition and transition quality indicators for individuals with ASD
  • Review lifespan approach and barriers to access to care
  • Become familiar with transition resources and innovative practices
  • Reflect on the role of clinicians to support and empower families of children with autism


Cheryl A. Rhodes, MS, LMFT, LPC

Director, Care Coordination

CME Information:

AMA Credit: The Georgia Academy of Family Physicians is accredited by the Medical Association of Georgia to provide continuing medical education for physicians.  The GAFP designates this live educational activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Can’t Listen Live?  Register anyway – and we’ll send you the recording notice once it’s posted on our website.

Register Now!! May Webinar, May 22nd, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Register Now!! May Webinar, May 22nd, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Through a partnership with the Georgia Department of Public Health, GAFP is offering a webinar on Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT).

This month’s webinar will be held on May 22nd at 12:00 pm and will feature a presentation by Candice Joy McNeil, MD, MPH. – Assistant Professor, Infectious Diseases Office of Women in Medicine and Science, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Wake Forest Baptist Health. Dr. McNeil is an infectious disease specialist in Winston Salem, North Carolina and is affiliated with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. She received her medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine and has been in practice for over 15 years.

Webinar Objectives:

  • General overview of Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT)
  • Benefits of Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT)
  • Georgia Law & rules regarding Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT)
  • Eligibility criteria for Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT)
  • Differences between Georgia Law for EPT and DPH Rules and Regulations

Click the link to register for the May 22nd webinar.

Can’t Listen Live?  Register anyway – and we’ll send you the notice of the recording once it’s posted on our website.

Register Now!! April Webinar – April 18th, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Through a partnership with the Georgia Department of Public Health, GAFP is offering a webinar on Steps to Transition Planning.

This month’s webinar will be held on April 18th at 12:00 pm and will feature a presentation by Andrea Videlefsky, MD – Medical Director, Adult Disability Medical Healthcare and the ADMH team. Dr. Videlefsky is a family practice physician with the Urban Family Practice Associates, an active member of US Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group and serves as a Family Physician Champion for Health Care Transition. She is dedicated to serving patients through the patient-centered medical home model. She has a special interest and ability in treating teens and adults with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities. From this webinar, you’ll learn the steps to transition planning. She will be joined by Susanna Miller-Raines, MSW, Adrienne Melnyk, M.Ed. and Janice Nodvin, Clinic Director.

Webinar Objectives:

Medical Transition

  • Background
  • Identifying the ages of transition

Education Transition

  • Assistance with IEP

Planning for life after school and options available

  • Inclusion Post-Secondary Education
  • Vocational Rehabilitation – employment
  • Medicaid Waiver

Emergency planning

Long term goals

  • Guardianship or options
  • Residential
  • Legal


Please click the link to register for the April 18th webinar.

Can’t Listen Live?  Register anyway – and we’ll send you the recording once it’s posted on our website.