Board of Directors

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Theresa Landau, MS, RD Ms. Landau is a registered dietitian and a certified lactation counselor. She has worked at the Morrisania WIC Program for over 32 years and has been the Director of the Program for over 29 years. She received her Master of Science in Public Health Nutrition from Columbia University. Ms. Landau has served in a variety of capacities in the management, leadership, nutrition and breastfeeding arenas. She was the Chairperson of The WIC Association of NYS, Inc. for 10 years, a member of the Board of Directors for 20 years and founded the NYC Metro WIC Association. She has been the Local Agency Northeast Regional Representative to NWA Board of Directors since 2004. She has had a leadership role or participated in numerous committees and Task Forces on the local, regional and national levels. Ms. Landau co-chairs the Bronx Breastfeeding Coalition; sits on the NYC Breastfeeding Leadership Council and the NYC Health & Hospital Corporation Breastfeeding Initiative Executive Committee and is on the Board of the New York Statewide Breastfeeding Coalition.


Vice Chair

Ann BrownleeMA, PhD Dr. Brownlee is a medical sociologist who has worked in the fields of breastfeeding and infant and young child feeding for over twenty-five years.  She received her B.A. at Pomona College and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology at Boston University.  She has an appointment as Clinical Professor in the Division of International Health and Cross-Cultural Medicine at the UCSD Medical School. She has worked as a staff member and consultant in the areas of breastfeeding, infant and young child feeding and international health, specializing in evaluation and applied research.  Dr. Brownlee served for eight years as Planning, Evaluation and Applied Research Coordinator for the Project for Strengthening Health Delivery Systems in Africa (a 20-country project), for ten years as Senior Technical Advisor for Program Development, Evaluation and Research at Wellstart International, and taught at UCSD for sixteen years.  She worked extensively with WHO and UNICEF to develop the assessment strategy and tools for the WHO/UNICEF Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), a course for hospital administrators working to become baby-friendly, an assessment tool to accompany WHO’s Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding, and a revised version of the BFHI assessment tools.  She also helped to launch the US Baby-Friendly program and develop its first assessment tool, while on the staff of Wellstart International. She has served as team leader on a number of health program evaluations and lead trainer for “training of trainer” workshops in Africa and Asia and has published extensively in the fields of breastfeeding and infant and young child feeding, cross-cultural health, health systems research, and health assessment.


Robert H. LeFever.  Mr. LeFever received his undergraduate degree at Princeton University and was a graduate of the Financial Management Program of the General Electric Company. He recently retired from a second career as the Director of Development for Mercer Street Friends where he was responsible for the fundraising activities of the organization. Prior to that he spent more than 30 years in advertising, first in senior management positions (CFO and COO) at two of the largest advertising agencies in Philadelphia, then as a financial and management consultant to small and mid-sized advertising, public relations and marketing firms. Mr. LeFever has served in a variety of leadership capacities on numerous boards of directors throughout his career. These include Chandler Hall, Temple University Health System, Jeanes Hospital, and the Volunteer Trustees, a national organization of healthcare trustees dedicated to promoting not-for-profit healthcare. He recently completed a three-year term on the American Hospital Association’s Committee on Governance and has just begun another three-year term as a member of the Leadership Development Committee of the Committee on Governance. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors for Baby-Friendly USA, his current volunteer activities include serving as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Temple Physicians, Inc., which is an owner/manager of community-based primary care physician practices and the Anna T. Jeanes Foundation, which provides financial support for healthcare services in the community served by Jeanes Hospital.


Laura McBride, JD.  Ms. McBride received her law degree from George Washington University Law School and her Master’s Degree in Evaluative Clinical Sciences (a program focused on health policy considerations of clinical outcomes) from Dartmouth College. She is an Associate in the law firm Calfee, Halter and Griswold where she assists corporate and government entities in a wide range of disputes and compliance matters. She is a member of the firm’s Litigation group and is also active in the Health Care and Life Sciences, and Federal Government Contract and Agency Regulation groups. In the health care arena, she has represented various types of entities in both litigation and regulatory matters. Her unique background includes her experience as a Program Analyst in the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services overseeing federal health programs, including those of the FDA and NIH. Her primary focus was the conduct of clinical research and the system of human-subject protections, and the regulatory system for dietary supplements. In addition to being a board member for Baby-Friendly USA, Ms. McBride also serves on the Board of Directors for Lakewood Community Services Center, which provides food and housing services to individuals and families in need on the west side of Cleveland.


­Mary Applegate, MD.  Dr. Applegate is the Director of Preventive Medicine at the University at Albany School of Public Health.  She directs the New York State Preventive Medicine Residency and serves as  Clinical Professor in the Department of Health Policy, Management, & Behavior. Her prior roles at the school include Interim Dean and Associate Dean for Public Health Practice.  Earlier in her career, Dr. Applegate served as medical director for the NYS Department of Health’s Bureau of Women’s Health and Division of Family Health, overseeing programs in maternal, infant, child and adolescent health, including breastfeeding promotion and infant mortality prevention.  Promoting breastfeeding as a vital public health issue is one of Dr. Applegate’s long-time priorities.  For the past two decades, she has hosted an annual broadcast for healthcare and public health professionals called Breastfeeding Grand Rounds, focusing each year on a different breastfeeding issue with both clinical and public health significance   Dr. Applegate holds a BA in biochemistry from Smith College, an MD from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and an MPH in epidemiology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.  She completed preventive medicine residency training at the New York State Department of Health and is a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine.  She is a past member of the Boards of Directors of the American College of Preventive Medicine and the American Board of Preventive Medicine.

Pamela Berens, MD. Dr. Berens received her medical degree from the University of Minnesota and completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Texas, Houston where she subsequently joined the faculty. Currently she serves as Professor and Vice-Chair of Clinical Affairs at the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. She has an active clinical practice and teaches medical student and residents. She is an IBCLC and sees mothers referred for consultation with difficult breastfeeding complications. Her area of academic and educational focus has a foundation surrounding pregnancy and postpartum care, breastfeeding and breastfeeding complications. She is active in the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine previously serving as a board member, meeting co-chair and contributing to 3 separate ABM protocols. She has participated in various research projects related to breastfeeding. She is also active in outreach multidisciplinary breastfeeding education across the state of Texas with the Texas Department of State Health Services. She served as a physician co-leader for the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality Texas Breastfeeding Learning Collaborative. In this role, she worked to encourage hospitals and providers across Texas to incorporate Baby Friendly Hospital Practices. She participates with the ACOG Breastfeeding Expert Work Group formed in 2014 and assists with their various endeavors to promote breastfeeding and educate Obstetricians further about the topic. She has written book chapters and published research on breastfeeding topics primarily relating to the maternal perspective and maternal breastfeeding complications.

Sarah Coulter Danner, RN, MSN, CNM, CPNP.  Ms. Danner is a registered nurse and nurse midwife educator. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Castleton State College, Castleton, Vermont. She received her BSN from Skidmore College, her Masters Degree in Nursing/Nurse-Midwifery from Case Western Reserve University and is currently working on her PhD in nursing at South Dakota State University. She has a forty year history of assisting families in both the US and England as a lactation consultant, pediatric nurse practitioner and a nurse midwife. Ms Danner has been involved with Baby-Friendly USA since its start in the US and served as a founding member of the board of directors. She represents the American College of Nurse Midwives on the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC). She worked with the founding group of the IBCLE exam and assisted with the first exam at Georgetown University. She is an international speaker, and an author of numerous publications and journal articles.

Lawrence M. Gartner, MD.  Dr. Gartner received his undergraduate education at Columbia University and his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University. After completing his internship in Pediatrics at Hopkins, he continued his training in Pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, specializing in neonatology and pediatric liver disease. His basic laboratory and clinical research focus has been in the area of neonatal jaundice, with particular reference to its relationship to breastfeeding. At Einstein, Dr. Gartner rose to Professor of Pediatrics, Chief of Neonatology and Pediatric Hepatology and Gastroenterology, and Director of the Children's Clinical Research Unit. In 1980, Dr. Gartner was appointed Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at The University of Chicago and Director of Wyler Children's Hospital. He also held a joint appointment in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He continued his combined work in bilirubin metabolism and breastfeeding in Chicago and has published more than 200 papers on this subject and on other aspects of breastfeeding. He has also lectured on the modern history of premature infant care and its origins as public exhibitions of premature infants in incubators at World’s Fairs and amusement parks. In 1998, Dr. Gartner retired from The University of Chicago. His current academic title is Professor Emeritus, Departments of Pediatrics and Obstetrics/Gynecology at The University of Chicago. In addition to being a founding and current member of the Baby-Friendly USA Board of Directors, he was Founding Chair of the Executive Committee of the Section on Breastfeeding of the American Academy of Pediatrics from 1998 to 2006. He is also a Past- President of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, of which he is a founder, and a Past-President of the North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, which he also helped found. He is currently Chair of the ABM Ethics Committee. He lectures regularly on breastfeeding issues.

Yvonne D. Harrison, BSN, MPA, PhD.  Dr. Harrison is Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Administration and Policy, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University at Albany, SUNY. She teaches courses in public administration, public management and the governance of nonprofit organizations. She is interested in nonprofit leadership, governance and organizational effectiveness, the adoption and diffusion of information and communications technology, and inter-organizational collaborations and partnerships. She is a former registered nurse, certified breastfeeding counselor and lactation consultant with experience in acute care, community development and health promotion practice. She has a BSN in Nursing, MPA and PhD in Public Administration from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Dr. Harrison is author of the 2014 book (with Vic Murray), Guidelines for Improving the Effectiveness of Boards of Directors of Nonprofit Organizations, SUNY Open Press, and author of a number of scholarly peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and research reports. 

Aysha Pamukcu, JD. Ms. Pamukcu is an attorney specializing in equitable, inclusive law and policy. As a senior staff attorney at ChangeLab Solutions, she works on public health law and policy strategies and leads the organization's health equity practice. Through research, training, and technical assistance, she helps communities improve their policies on maternal and child health, healthy retail environments, and just food systems. Ms. Pamukcu was a lead researcher for a national scan of state laws and regulations related to any of the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. Prior to joining ChangeLab Solutions, she served as policy counsel at the Greenlining Institute, where she worked on equitable community development and investment for communities of color. Ms. Pamukcu's volunteer work includes providing representation for people seeking asylum through the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area and assisting judges at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Cambodia. She graduated from Stanford University with honors and from USC Law School.  

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