WBW2015 logoOn Tuesday, July 28, the Coalition, healthcare professionals, community breastfeeding supporters, and breastfed babies gathered at the County Board of Supervisors meeting to help kick off World Breastfeeding Week. A special proclamation was made by the Board of Supervisors and presented to the Coalition, recognizing World Breastfeeding Week and the importance of breastfeeding. The Coalition also presented progress made on fulfilling its mission of promoting and supporting breastfeeding in Ventura County over the past year, as well as the importance of supporting breastfeeding mothers in the workplace. This year’s World Breastfeeding Week theme is “Breastfeeding and Work: Let’s Make it Work”.

The highlight of this event was the presentation of the Breastfeeding Coalition of Ventura County’s 2015 Liquid Gold Award. This is an annual recognition given by the Breastfeeding Coalition of Ventura County (BCVC) to an individual who has truly made a difference in the lives of families and our community by supporting breastfeeding through resources, education, services, and networking.

The Coalition is pleased to announce that the 2015 Liquid Gold Award recipient is Sheila Dedrick!

Liquid Gold AwardSheila is truly a champion for breastfeeding. As a registered nurse for 36 years, Sheila first encountered new families in her work in labor & delivery and postpartum care. Over thirteen years ago, Sheila began assisting new moms with breastfeeding as a Certified Lactation Counselor, and then as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She has championed the evolution of lactation care and the Baby Friendly journey at Community Memorial Hospital, where she is a treasured asset to her colleagues.

Sheila helped develop the New Parent Resource Center at Community Memorial Hospital and currently serves as the Center’s coordinator. In this capacity, she helps hundreds of new moms and babies each year discover the absolute joy of breastfeeding. She teaches “Baby & Me” classes, which give new moms the confidence to trust their instincts while providing safe care for their newborns.

Sheila and her New Parent Resource Center are both well-known and well-loved by mothers and breastfeeding supporters throughout the county. Her reputation precedes her in support groups and online forums, where the mantra “Have you seen Sheila yet?” are echoed by women time and time again, whenever and wherever a breastfeeding mother needs help.

Sheila provided dedication and leadership on the Executive Committee of BCVC from 2006 – 2014, serving as Chair of the Education Committee for several years, as well as filling the role of the Board’s Secretary. She has ensured that many BCVC education events run smoothly, and played a key role in helping take the Breastfeeding Coalition to a new level by assisting with a new strategic plan. She has supported and mentored countless nurses in their pursuit of lactation certification and has provided counsel, encouragement, and compassion to generations of families.

Thank you Sheila, for all you do to support breastfeeding!