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About Breastfeeding Support Model for Community Health Centers


Leading health agencies in the United States recognize breastfeeding as a public health priority. The latest National Immunization Survey data from infants born in 2015 indicates that most of the national breastfeeding goals have been met.1 Unfortunately, this achievement is not equitably shared across all subsets of the population, especially for African American and low-income families.2  Breastfeeding is beneficial to almost all mothers and infants, but the benefits may be significantly greater for minority women, who are disproportionately affected by adverse health outcomes, which may improve with breastfeeding.3

Community Health Centers (CHCs) provide comprehensive primary care services to over 23 million people in the United States, regardless of a person’s ability to pay. These health centers are well positioned to promote, protect and support breastfeeding in the communities, since these organizations provide a crucial safety net for underserved and low-income families, by providing interdisciplinary, culturally-appropriate care to meet the needs of diverse communities in America.4 By actively supporting breastfeeding through adoption or improvement of organizational policies, systems and environmental (PSE) changes, CHCs can increase their capacity to provide consistent, and coordinated breastfeeding promotion and support services to the families they serve, therefore improving rates within their community, and reduce breastfeeding disparities. CHCs can reap the significant breastfeeding benefits, such as reducing child sick visits (ear and gastro infections, and others) and the reduced risks of chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, maternal hypertension and cancers.


With support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity (DNPAO), NACCHO is pleased to announce a funding opportunity for community health centers.The purpose of this funding opportunity is to pilot a breastfeeding support model for CHCs and  a technical assistance project to help CHCs explore and adopt policy, system and environmental solutions to increase their capacity to provide consistent and coordinated breastfeeding promotion and support services to the families they serve. NACCHO will use the lessons learned, including barriers, facilitators and other data to inform the development of a breastfeeding support model toolkit.

NACCHO will identify community health centers/FQHCs to pilot the establishment of evidence-based breastfeeding practices and policies within their organization and will provide funding and technical assistance (TA) to these organizations to implement their proposed activities.  Examples of these steps may include Policies, Systems and environmental (PSE) changes, such as training of current, existing staff in basic and advanced lactation care, implementation of supportive policies for breastfeeding employees and clients;  establishment of a nursing/pumping room, provision of walk-in locations for lactation expertise and support (e.g: BabyCafés); improving internal collaborations for breastfeeding continuity of care, and activities that systematically connect breastfeeding mothers to relevant resources within their communities.

NACCHO will make at least three (3) awards available to health center for a 6-month breastfeeding project. Each grantee will receive up to $20,000 to support project activities.



1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). Breastfeeding Among U.S. Children Born 2002–2014. CDC National Immunization Survey. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC. Retrieved from:

2. Anstey, E. H., Chen, J., Elam-Evans, L. D., & Perrine C. G. (2017). Racial and Geographic Differences in Breastfeeding — United States, 2011–2015. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 66:723-727. Retrieved from:

3. Jones, K. M., Power, M. L., Queenan, J. T., & Schulkin, J. (2015). Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Breastfeeding. Breastfeeding Medicine, 10(4), 186–196.

4. National Association of Community Health Centers. About Health Centers.



Eligibility and Scope of Work

This RFA is open to any community health center who

1) provide prenatal and postpartum services (OB/GYN, Centering, Pediatrics, etc)

2) Serves predominantly African American and/or underserved populations

  • At least 50% of population is African American or underserved
  • Underserved populations may include low income (as defined by Medicaid Eligibility) or other Racial/Ethnic minority groups (e.g. Native American, etc.)

Note that preference will be given to health centers that are located in the same catchment jurisdiction/community served of and that are willing to partner with CDC REACH grantees who will be working on Breastfeeding Continuity of Care in their project. Find out more information here:


Scope of Work

Grantees will be funded to support implementation of evidence-based breastfeeding policies, practices and internal/external partnerships.  Grantees will be expected to complete the following activities over the course of the project period:

  • Attend virtual monthly grantee meetings with other selected grantees (dates to be determined).
  • Develop and refine a 6-month work plan that includes the adoption of policies, systems, and environmental solutions to increase organizational capacity to provide consistent and coordinated breastfeeding promotion and support services to the families served.
  • Participate in project assessment to determine training and technical assistance needs of their staff
  • Participate in quarterly individual calls with NACCHO staff, project-related webinars, and other capacity-building activities.
  • Convene key staff and partners for a NACCHO staff site visit (date TBD)
  • Implement activities as defined in the project work plan
  • Collect quantitative/qualitative data, such as barriers, facilitators, lessons learned, and staff/clients perceptions to facilitate understanding of program activity impact (NACCHO will provide data collection form)
  • Report aggregate data related to services provided, such as numbers of internal/external partnerships established/enhanced, number of staff trained, etc
  • Participate in project-related evaluation activities, including pre-post assessments, focus groups, and other identified evaluation activities.
  • Provide up to three financial reports, detailing how funds were spent in order to accomplish activities
  • Provide written recommendations to community health centers/FQHCs seeking to become more equipped to provide comprehensive breastfeeding promotion and support services to families and the community

To view a full description of the application please view the "FY19 Health Centers RFA" document on the resource link page. 

The Application Process


Informational Webinar

2 PM E.T.

Please register here


Application Submission Deadline

6:30 PM E.T. 


Award Notification Date


Contract due to NACCHO


Anticipated Contract Start Date



Submit first deliverables to NACCHO



First distribution of grant money



Submit additional deliverables to NACCHO



Second distribution of grant money



Submit remaining deliverables



Final Report Due

Last distribution of grant money