LRCS Receives Statewide Award for new Lactation Room

Joyce Kelly (left), Chair of NH Breastfeeding Task Force presents award to Joleen Welford (right), LRCS Director of Employee Relations.

Lakes Region Community Services (LRCS) is dedicated to meeting the needs of its nursing mothers. As an effort to improve workplace breastfeeding policies, they constructed a new lactation room in their Laconia office and were recently awarded the 2021 Breastfeeding Friendly Employer Award by the New Hampshire Breastfeeding Task Force in recognition of their commitment to establish and maintain comprehensive, high-level lactation support for their employees.

In 2019, LRCS was one of ten businesses in the state of New Hampshire awarded a grant to create a supportive space for working mothers of infants from Keene State College’s Public Health faculty in cooperation with the NH Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services. With grant funds matched by LRCS and project management lead by Dave Emond, VP of Operations, in just a few months, the agency was able to renovate and construct a state of the art lactation room for its employees, and families who participate in childcare classes offered by the LRCS Family Resource Center. The room features a comfortable chair, sink area for washing equipment, locked storage space for breast pumps, a refrigerator for the temporary storage of breast milk, books, and other resources for working mothers.

“The feedback we received was immediate and powerful: mothers returning to work, or planning to start a family in the future, felt recognized and appreciated,” said Joleen Welford, Director of Employee Relations. “As a large workforce, we continue to identify barriers and increase our efforts to support our employees.”

“We believe strong families lead to healthy communities,” noted LRCS President and CEO, Becky Bryant. “We are honored to be the 2021 recipient of this award and are hopeful that this comfortable, accessible room will help mothers returning to the workplace.”