Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

February 28, 2018
Contact: John Lyon, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
                   Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


NEW CITY, NY - - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert are proud to announce that The Prenatal Center at Nyack Hospital and Orangetown Pediatrics, A Division of Boston Children's Health Physicians, are the first two medical practices in Rockland to achieve New York State (NYS) Breastfeeding Friendly Practice Designation.

Designated practices are required to implement the NYS Ten Steps to a Breastfeeding Friendly Practice which includes creating a written breastfeeding friendly office policy and environment, encouraging breastfeeding, and supporting mothers while they breastfeed. Practices that achieve all ten steps are recognized by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) with a plaque and letter of designation, and are listed on the NYSDOH website at

The Rockland County Department of Health's Breastfeeding Promotion and Support Program worked closely with Orangetown Pediatric Associates to help them become the first NYS Breastfeeding Friendly pediatric practice in Rockland. Dr. Alanna Levine of Orangetown Pediatric Associates is proud to have been formally recognized as the first NYS Breastfeeding Friendly pediatric practice in Rockland County. "We have been offering lactation support to families in our practice for seven years. It feels great to now be formally recognized for this invaluable service we offer to our patients," said Dr. Levine.

The Health Department's Breastfeeding Promotion and Support Program has been enhanced by a five-year grant from NYSDOH, Creating Breastfeeding Friendly Communities. Grant work includes establishing a breastfeeding friendly care continuum from pregnancy through infancy to increase breastfeeding initiation, exclusivity, and duration, and reduce racial, ethnic, and community disparities in breastfeeding. One key focus of the grant is to work with obstetric, family medicine, and pediatric practices serving Medicaid-eligible women and their children in the Towns of Ramapo and Clarkstown to achieve NYS Breastfeeding Friendly Practice designation. Through this grant, The Prenatal Center at Nyack Hospital was provided with additional funding for staff training and patient breastfeeding support resources.

Kathy Lunney, MS, RN, Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Nyack Hospital said "Nyack Hospital is proud of The Prenatal Center at Nyack Hospital's designation as the first breastfeeding friendly OB/GYN practice in Rockland County. The staff has worked determinedly to ensure that The Prenatal Center met New York State's comprehensive guidelines for a breastfeeding friendly practice. This designation is a testament to Nyack Hospital's longstanding commitment to supporting women's and children's health. While research supports the many health benefits associated with breastfeeding for babies, children and mothers, it is important that new mothers understand they can seek advice and ongoing support from their healthcare providers in reaching their breastfeeding and overall health goals."

"It is clear that Patricia Soriano Guzman BS, IBCLC at The Prenatal Center at Nyack Hospital and Lenora Mesibov, IBCLC, Director of Lactation Program at Orangetown Pediatrics worked hard with their staff to develop and implement a breastfeeding friendly office policy and environment that encourages breastfeeding, while providing support to breastfeeding mothers," said Dr. Ruppert. Interested in becoming a breastfeeding friendly practice? Call the Health Department at (845) 364-3786 or email For more information visit