Jennie Toland has been named Co-Executive Director of the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition (KBC), a statewide advocacy organization. Toland will begin in this role on December 1.
“After a rigorous and highly competitive search process, it was Jennie’s extensive experience serving families that won the Board over,” said Stephanne Rupnicki, chair of the KBC Board of Directors. “Jennie has a strong understanding of the needs of underserved communities and she is committed to reducing inequities in breastfeeding rates.”
A native of Dodge City, Jennie Toland, joins the KBC after more than three years of working with breastfeeding families at the Western Plains Medical Complex in Dodge City Kansas as a nurse in OB and NICU. She also worked two years for the Ford County Health Department as a Maternal & Infant Program Coordinator and WIC nurse. Working in a hospital system and in public health gave Toland new perspectives on barriers to health equity. Her personal experiences breastfeeding her children for various durations using multiple modalities made it clear to her how support and education are critical in achieving fulfilling breastfeeding journeys. These experiences fuel Toland’s desire to advocate for breastfeeding/chestfeeding families. Jennie led the formation of the Ford County Breastfeeding Coalition in 2018 and serves as its volunteer Executive Director. Working in southwest Kansas has provided her with unique experiences with diverse populations who have been historically underserved and/or underrepresented. Jennie brings a fresh and unique perspective to the KBC and is eager to find creative ways to connect communities and families across the state to normalize breast/chestfeeding.
“I am honored to share the leadership of the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition and to work with the KBC Board and team to build upon the impactful work the KBC has done to increase breastfeeding rates in Kansas,” said Toland. “I look forward to talking with families and those who support them to learn how we can work collaboratively to remove barriers facing breastfeeding families. We know equity must be at the center of all that we do. Strong collaboration and partnerships with people and organizations who are doing this work will be key to expanding and strengthening our support of all breastfeeding families.”