BFUSA Welcomes Eileen FitzPatrick as New CEO

Published On: December 7, 2020|Tags: |
Dear Colleagues,
I am very excited to inform you that, after an extensive and thorough search process, the Baby-Friendly USA Board of Directors has chosen Eileen FitzPatrick, DrPH, MPH, RDN, to be the new CEO of the organization. Eileen will officially join BFUSA on January 4, 2021. Trish MacEnroe will remain with BFUSA as a Senior Policy Advisor to the CEO for a period of time to ensure a smooth transition and hand-off to Eileen.
About Eileen FitzPatrick
Eileen possesses all the skills and experience necessary to be successful in this position. She has advanced degrees in public health, is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, has extensive experience in breastfeeding, and has worked with and for non-profit organizations her entire career.
Eileen is currently Assistant Professor and Chair of the Department of Nutrition Science at Russell Sage College in Troy, NY. In this role, she manages and supervises faculty and office staff; oversees department budgets, course schedules, program evaluation; and teaches undergraduate and graduate classes for the Nutrition, Public Health and Health Sciences departments utilizing both in-person and virtual formats.
Her wide-ranging experience includes five years in the Obesity Prevention Program (OPP) with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), during which time she was one of the primary coordinators of the initial statewide Breastfeeding Quality Improvement in Hospitals (BQIH) project. She also played a leadership role in the Breastfeeding Friendly project in Erie County, which was initiated and developed from her field research.
Subsequent to her work at NYSDOH, Eileen completed her Doctorate in Public Health with a concentration in epidemiology. Her thesis evaluated data from CDC’s Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) Survey and the Pregnancy Risk Assessment and Monitoring System (PRAMS) to evaluate hospital implementation of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and breastfeeding outcomes for women who gave birth at those hospitals.
Recently, Eileen developed a community-based participatory research project to integrate breastfeeding and nutrition education into peer doula practice. She partnered with BirthNet NY, an anti-racist non-profit organization whose mission is to eliminate inequities in birth outcomes, on work to reduce breastfeeding disparities between black and white infants in underserved areas of the Capital District, NY.
Eileen also serves on the board of the Food Pantries for the Capital District. This coalition of more than 65 food pantries in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady Counties has played a critical role helping those in need, especially during the pandemic.
We are thrilled to welcome Eileen to BFUSA and look forward to the positive impact we know she will have on the organization and on the mothers and infants we support.
Gratitude for Trish MacEnroe
After eleven years as the Executive Director/CEO of BFUSA, Trish MacEnroe will leave behind a record of exemplary service. She has been an amazing leader who transformed Baby-Friendly USA from a small national program to one which has earned international acclaim. Trish and her outstanding team built the 4-D Pathway and a nationwide infrastructure that upholds the highest standards for infant feeding care in maternity units across the country. Thanks in large part to Trish’s efforts, over 1 million babies are born each year in environments in which evidenced-based care is provided, education is free from commercial interests, and mothers are supported in reaching their infant feeding goals.
Trish’s vast legacy will certainly include her successful stewardship of the new Guidelines and Evaluation Criteria (GEC) as the Chairperson of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) Network of Industrialized Countries, Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. She worked collegially with the World Health Organization (WHO) and colleagues at other international organizations to ensure the new GEC achieves the shared goals that were intended for all countries, and then led the development of US-specific implementation guidance. She also played a key role in the development of a competency verification toolkit recently published by the WHO.
In recent months, while her time at BFUSA was winding down, Trish spearheaded BFUSA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, leading the shift to virtual assessments and readying the new GEC for release next year.
While we will miss Trish very much, we are profoundly appreciative of her commitment and dedication to BFUSA and the positive impact she has had on millions of mothers, families and babies over the past decade. We wish her all the best in her retirement.
Looking Forward
This has been a challenging year for all of us, yet we know brighter times lie ahead. We wish you all a healthy holiday season, despite the challenges we share, and we look forward to a happy and gratifying new year.
Theresa Landau, MS, RDN, CDN
BFUSA Board Chair

Like this article? Share it!

Archives by Month