Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

June 6, 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


Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert are proud to announce that Jawonio, Inc. is the first business in Rockland to achieve Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite Recognition by the Rockland County Department of Health's Breastfeeding Promotion and Support Program. The official recognition will take place at Jawonio on Thursday, June 14th.

Recognized worksites are required to implement several steps to achieve Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite recognition, including creating a written breastfeeding friendly office policy, implementing environmental changes such as designating lactation spaces and training staff, and supporting mothers while they continue to breastfeed and return to work. Worksites that achieve the required steps are recognized by the Rockland County Department of Health's Breastfeeding Promotion and Support Program with a plaque and Certificate of Recognition, and are listed on the Health Department's website at

The Breastfeeding Promotion and Support Program has been enhanced with a five-year grant from the New York State Department of Health, 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 reducing racial, ethnic, and community disparities in breastfeeding. One key focus of the grant is to work with worksites in the Towns of Ramapo and Clarkstown to achieve Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite Recognition. Through this grant, Jawonio was provided with funds to create a lactation space, purchase a hospital grade pump, and provide breastfeeding support resources for their employees.

Viola James, Jawonio's Human Resources Benefits and Wellness Manager, said "The breastfeeding grant has allowed Jawonio to provide our lactating mothers the opportunity to pump breast milk for their babies in a safe, clean and tranquil environment. It would not have been possible without the grant money provided by the Health Department."

One new mother who returned from maternity leave in March was ecstatic to learn Jawonio has a breastfeeding room. She said "Oh My God! I love Jawonio! I don't have to lug my breast pump to the office ... the breastfeeding room will make things a lot easier for me as a new mom coming back to work, thank you!"

"Jawonio's commitment to the health and well-being of their staff has great benefits for their business, staff, and the community and encourages mothers to continue to provide the best nutrition for their babies while being able to return to work," said Dr. Ruppert.

Interested in becoming a breastfeeding friendly worksite? Call the Health Department at (845) 364-3786 or email For more information visit