By Tonya Kubo
California Breastfeeding Coalition
The California Breastfeeding Coalition proudly wrapped up its 14th annual California Breastfeeding Summit, conducted virtually via the Whova event app from Jan. 23 to 25.
This year’s Summit had about 650 registered attendees, a new high compared to the 616 registered last year. The summit’s virtual format not only facilitated a broader range of participants from across the state but also ensured accessibility for all, regardless of geographical location.
“We all miss meeting in person, but the accessibility of virtual events is undeniable,” said Jasmine Pettis Marquez, Executive Director of the California Breastfeeding Coalition and the event’s emcee. “We’ve already heard from attendees who appreciated live captioning during sessions, and how they can balance Summit participation with work and home obligations.”
Though no decisions have been made in terms of Summit 2005, the CBC staff and board are considering all possible options based on suggestions and feedback from past attendees.
Summit Attendees Make Deep Connections Through the App
According to event data provided in Whova, this has been our most active Summit ever. Here some fun facts:
- 8,124 messages sent between attendees (1,200 is the average for Whova events)
- 329 photos shared
- 154 community board topics
- 50 meetups hosted
- 23 exhibitors
Several local and cultural coalitions hosted regional meetups, and others were created based on interests (rural outreach, communications/marketing, etc.).
“The commitment our community has in protecting, promoting and supporting lactation and human milk feeding in California is undeniable,” Pettis Marquez said. “We saw that this year in high live session attendance, thoughtful questions asked during Q&A time, and the conversations held throughout the community and with our sponsors and exhibitors. Our exhibitors all commented that they were busier last week than in other online events they’ve participated in.”
Some of the most popular sessions at Summit this year were:
- Medi-Cal’s Doula Benefit 101
- Lactation Innovation
- Support Networks and Navigating Parenthood: New Study Findings
- Conflict of Interest BINGO: How Pens and Pizza Persuade Thought Leaders
- The Launch of Semana de la Lactancia Latina and Why it Matters
- IGT is Not A Tragedy: Understanding and Managing Mammary Hypoplasia
- Unraveling Microbiome Support During Lactation and Infancy
- Lactation and Infant Reflux: Exploring the Relationship, Diagnosis, and Treatment Options
A few Summit attendees also walked away from the event as winners: Aarthy Musuwathi of University of the Pacific won a free ticket to Summit 2025, Sally Tran of United Health Centers and Marietta Sperry of Tarzana Hospital both won copies of Pump or Bust by Karlee Vincent, and Ronda Hall of Lassen County Public Health and Tara Hanson-Timpson of Lucile Packard Stanford Children’s Hospital both won products from Ceres Chill.
Sponsors and Exhibitors Make Summit a Success
Summit wouldn’t be THE professional development event of the year were it not for our continuing education partner, the California WIC Association (CWA). CWA promotes WIC and related services, including breastfeeding support, nutrition education, health care, family and employee wellness, and public health workforce development.
Thanks to CWA’s support, attending all three days of the Summit (plenary sessions + 9 workshops) qualifies for 26.25 CH, 22.25 L-CERPs, 3 R-CERP, and 1 E-CERP. The event also qualifies for 26.25 RD CPEUs (Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing Number CEP 16525. Provider approved by CDR, Provider Number CA004. Provider approved by the IBLCE, Long Term Provider Number CLT 115-01).
We are grateful to the California Department of Public Health/MCAH/WIC and First 5 California for underwriting the event A/V costs to ensure the best virtual experience for our attendees.
CDPH’s Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Division administers the California WIC program. This program helps families across the state by providing nutrition education, breastfeeding support, healthy foods and referrals to health care and other community services. First 5’s purpose is to help California’s children receive the best possible start in life.
The California Health Care Foundation, which works to remove structural barriers to care and build a just and equitable health care system, came in as a Silver Sponsor right before the Summit began. Bronze Sponsors Mothers’ Milk Bank San Jose and UC Davis Health have both been steadfast collaborative partners in creating a culture of human milk feeding in our state.
Rounding out our event sponsorships are Anthem Blue Cross, UC San Diego Extended Studies Lactation and Perinatal Education, and UC San Francisco’s Motivating Interdisciplinary Lactation Knowledge (MILK) Research Lab.
CBC Summit attendees met the following virtual exhibitors:
- Breast Cancer Prevention Partners
- California WIC Association
- Ceres Chill
- HERstory, Inc
- Inland Empire Breastfeeding Coalition
- Kick it California
- Lactation Education Resources
- Mommy’s Milk
- Riverside University Health System, Nutrition and Health Promotion, Grow Our Own Lactation Consultant Course
- Traveling Milk Truck
- UC Health Milk Bank
Summit Access Continues Through April 25; Get Your Box Office Pass Now
Access to all Summit 2024 content is available to registered attendees in the Whova app through April 25. If you would like to view the Summit and earn all available CEUs, you can purchase a Virtual Box Office Pass online.