Breastfeeding Advocate of the Year

The PRO-LC Advocate of the Year Award

The PRO-LC Advocate of the Year Award (formerly Physician/Healthcare Provider of the Year) the highest honor given by our organization, is awarded annually to a person or practice in recognition of “outstanding advocacy, which supports, promotes, and protects breastfeeding.” This year the membership can consider nominees for this award among all categories including a physician, another healthcare provider, such as a midwife, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant, or a community member who exemplifies breastfeeding advocacy and excellence in practice.

The recipients are selected by the PRO-LC Board of Directors; nominations are sought from the general PRO-LC membership. Criteria considered, when determining who should receive this distinction, include:

  • Is the provider knowledgeable about current breastfeeding management practices?
  • Does the provider make appropriate referrals (to IBCLCs or a support group) for lactation issues?
  • Is the provider receptive to information and research provided by IBCLCs?
  • Does the provider promote breastfeeding among his/her colleagues (through lectures, grand rounds, or in other ways)?
  • Do mothers report that their provider is supportive of their breastfeeding goals?
  • Does the office setting (posters, freebies, magazines) promote breastfeeding – and support the WHO Code [regarding ethical marketing of breastmilk substitutes]?

The Advocate of the Year addresses PRO-LC at its member meeting in January, when the recipients receive

  • a framed certificate memorializing the award
  • a lifetime membership in PRO-LC
  • one year membership in ILCA (International Lactation Consultant Association) and the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine
  • a copy of the current edition of Hale’s Medications and Mother’s Milk, and a copy of the Philadelphia Breastfeeding Resource Handbook (a.k.a. “The Pink Book”).


Advocate of the Year, nominations are now open!

When thinking of the person you want to nominate,

please use this Nomination Form,

Winners are announced at the January Meeting


2019 Recipients

PRO-LC president, Rachel Gazda, Maternity Care Coalition’s Katja Pigur and Naima Black


Philadelphia, PA-January 28, 2019 -The Pennsylvania Resource Organization for Lactation Consultants (PRO-LC) has chosen Katja Pigur and Naima Black to be the 2019 “Advocates of the Year” for their outstanding work which supports, promotes, and protects breastfeeding.

Katja Pigur holds a Masters in Adult Education; Early Childhood and Family Education. She is a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) and has been the Breastfeeding Director at Maternity Care Coalition (MCC) since 2012, with additional professional involvement dating back to 2007. Since 2012, Ms. Pigur has been a co-leader of the Philadelphia Multi-Hospital Task Force and was the facilitator for the Southeastern PA hospital collaborative under Pennsylvania’s state-wide Keystone 10 initiative from 2014 until 2018. Through her role with Maternity Care Coalition, Katja has provided support and information so that five of the six local hospitals have completed their Baby Friendly accreditation.

On the national level, Katja represented Philadelphia as a member of the Interstate Collaborative for the Ten Steps, an initiative to implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding from 2013 until 2018. As a German native, Katja has extensive international work experience including assistance in Puerto Rico and Mexico; overseeing work force services for people with disabilities and career support services for single working mothers.

Naima Black holds a BA in Global Women’s Health & Human Rights from Global College of Long Island University. She is a full-spectrum doula, childbirth and reproductive health educator, Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC), and a community activist. She has supported pregnant and parenting women and their families throughout her life, including on the island of Lamu, Kenya where she lived for 21 years.

Naima currently coordinates Maternity Care Coalition’s Community Doula & Breastfeeding Program and the MOMobile Healthy Start Program North. She created this project 7 years ago to expand childbirth and infant feeding options to support childbearing families and their communities. Naima has also organized a peer counselor training program that is comprehensive in addressing many levels of inequality and oppression that exist in our society. She has worked to have CLC’s and IBCLC’s work in tandem within their scope and encourages those who are under-represented in our field of lactation to pursue the CLC and IBCLC. Her reputation for approaching health equity as a racial justice issue and as inter-connected to other social and environmental issues is acknowledged and respected.

Together, Katja and Naima assisted with Maternity Care Coalition’s World Breastfeeding Week event. This past year, Maternity Care Coalition successfully gathered 131 participants to simultaneously latch their babies in Franklin Square of Philadelphia, PA. Katja remarked “It was truly inspiring to see the room completely filled with mamas and babies! Breastfeeding families and partners alike expressed their enthusiasm and joy for this event.”

Katja Pigur and Naima Black have advocated to protect breastfeeding through their years of dedication both individually as well as collectively within Maternity Care Coalition and their mission to improve the health and well-being of pregnant and parenting families.

The Pennsylvania Resource Organization for Lactation Consultants presented the award to Naima Black and Katja Pigur on Monday, January 28th at their Chapter meeting at the Giant Conference Center in Willow Grove, Pa.

To read more on current hospital-based initiatives in Pennsylvania and Main Line Health check out the Keystone 10 Program at For more information about Maternity Care Coalition and their programs including the Community Doula and Breastfeeding Program, please visit

To find a lactation consultant or learn more about PRO-LC, please visit

For more information:

Rachel Gazda, 3004 Almond St., Philadelphia, PA



2018 Recipient

Rachel Gazda, President of PRO-LC with winner Paul Bahn, DDS and nominator Linda Derbyshire.



Philadelphia, PA-July 11, 2018-The Pennsylvania Resource Organization for Lactation Consultants (PRO-LC) has chosen Dr. Paul A. Bahn, III to be the 2018 “Advocate of the Year” for his outstanding advocacy and work that supports, promotes and protects breastfeeding. Dr. Bahn is a board certified pediatric dentist who also serves as a Board Examiner for the American Board for Pediatric Dentistry (APBD). He performs laser frenectomies to treat ankyloglossia; more commonly referred to as tongue-tie.

Dr. Bahn currently serves as the Clinical Program Director for Temple University Hospital-Northeastern Campus’ Pediatric Dental Residency Program.  It is one of the largest pediatric dental residency programs in the country and currently consists of 20 pediatric dental residents who receive first-hand exposure treating newborns and infants.

Linda Derbyshire, Board Certified Lactation Consultant in private practice who also practices at Center City Pediatrics, nominated Paul. She states that Dr. Bahn was a perfect fit for our award because he has pursued ongoing education to ensure he can promote and support breastfeeding. The feedback from the families he supports have nothing but rave reviews for his skill, compassion, and conservative approach. Dr. Bahn will collaborate with the IBCLC and take their recommendations to heart engaging meaningful dialogue to ensure the optimal care for the Breastfeeding family.

He was first exposed to the use of lasers in dentistry while in his residency. He did not start to routinely use them until later in his dental practice.  Over the following years, he continued to use the laser more frequently while pursuing continuing education courses focused on its applications in dental practice.  In 2012, he began to research breastfeeding issues with newborns and infants.  With the guidance of several great lactation consultants in the Philadelphia area, he began treating pediatric patients the following year.

Dr. Bahn received a lifetime membership to PRO-LC, a one-year subscription to the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, a framed certificate and a copy of Milk Matters.

The Pennsylvania Resource Organization for Lactation Consultants presented the award to Dr. Paul Bahn on Monday, May 14th at their Chapter meeting at Bryn Mawr Hospital in Bryn Mawr, Pa.


To learn more about Dr. Bahn and the Pediatric Dental Associate practice, please visit To find a lactation consultant or learn more about PRO-LC, please visit


For more information:

Rachel Gazda       267-974-3083

Former recipients

Karen Sponagle, Clinical Manager of MCH, April Sheriff-Munoz, RN, CLC, Tina Moyer-Fuchs, NNP, Health Care Practitioner of the Year, Cindy Griffis, President of PRO-LC

Cindy Griffis, PRO-LC President, Dr. Jodi Zisk, DO, Karen Meade, IBCLC, Alison Neuhaus, IBCLC both from Einstein Montgomery.

Recipients of the PRO-LC Health Practitioner of the Year include:


2015 Tina Moyer-Fuchs, NNP from Penn State Health, St. Joseph and Dr. Jodi Zisk, DO(View Press Release)   
2014 Ruth Wilf, CNM

Recipients of the PRO-LC Physician of the Year include:

2015 Jodi Fisk, DO (View Press Release)
2014 Drs. Berger and Fisher
2012 Curt Parnes, MD (View Press Release)
2011 Mary Kline, MD
2010 Kelly Wade (View Press Release)
2009 Esther Chung, MD (View Press Release)
2008 Gail Herrine, MD (View Press Release)
2007 Colleen Gulczynski, DO
2006 Delaware Valley Women’s Care [award given to entire practice]
Richard Gersh, MD
Rebecca Gould, MD
Elizabeth Louka, MD
2005 David Banner, MD
2004 Vinod K. Bhutani, MD, FAAP
2003 Deborah A. Sandrock, MD (View Press Release)
2002 Jeanette Pleasure, MD (View Press Release)
2001 Einstein Neighborhood Healthcare [award given to entire practice]
Freyda Neyman, MD
Kathryn Limmer, MD (View Press Release)
2000 Juliet Marciano, MD (View Press Release)
1999 Brad Dyer, MD (View Press Release)
1998 Society Hill Pediatrics, P.C.[award given to entire practice]
Janet Crino, MD
Shea Conley, MD
Cynthia Hill, MD
M. Bidi McSorley MD
Elizabeth L. Robbins, MD
Beverly Viscusi, CRNP
1997 Kids First, Coatesville [award given to entire practice]
Bruce Tilton, MD
Joan Magee, MD
1996 Penny Soppas, MD [received IBCLC certification 2002]
1995 John Ickler, MD [deceased 2000]
1994 English Willis, MD
1993 Joan Adler, MD

If you are a PRO-LC member who knows a physician or practice worthy of the distinguished PRO-LC Breastfeeding Advocate of the Year Award, nominations are accepted year-round. Please use the following form to submit your nomination to the PRO-LC Board of Directors.

Nomination Form