Coalition

About  the

Mission Statement

Organize local efforts to improve the health of our community by promoting, educating and

providing support for breastfeeding.

 

Membership

The Breastfeeding Coalition of San Joaquin County is made up of representatives from local hospitals, WIC programs, community groups, non-profit organizations, health plans, San Joaquin County government agencies, and interested individuals. Anyone interested in the promotion of breastfeeding in San Joaquin County is encouraged to participate in the Coalition. There is no membership fee.

 

Objectives

  • Increase the number of physicians and other primary healthcare providers in San Joaquin County who include breastfeeding/lactation counseling and referral as part of routine care.

  • In accordance with the Healthy People 2030 National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives, increase the proportion of infants who are breastfeed exclusively through age 6 months and increase the proportion of infants who are breastfeed at 1 year.

  • Provide accurate, equitable and consistent breastfeeding support, information and resources to women, families, health professionals and the community.

  • Encourage breastfeeding-friendly policies and procedures in all area hospitals, birthing centers, local businesses and workplaces.

  • Educate local city and county government officials on the benefits of breastfeeding and involve them in making San Joaquin County Baby-friendly.

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Our Staff

Ericka Dorsey, is a proud fourth-generation, former breastfeeding mother of three and has a deep desire to listen to and find solutions to increase breastfeeding rates for Black women and other vulnerable populations. She is also committed to amplifying the voices and stories of black women to both advocate for and inform local policies to ultimately foster improved maternal and child health outcomes and build stronger, holistically supported families. Ericka holds a master’s degree in Health Promotion and Education, a BS in Biology from Spelman College, and is also a certified fitness instructor.

“I am super excited to continue on the extraordinary commitment of support, education, recognition, and service to the community that the Breastfeeding Coalition of San Joaquin County is known for.”

Coalition Meeting Information 

Everyone is welcome to attend our monthly Coalition meetings!

 

Breastfeeding Coalition of San Joaquin County meetings are held on the 

second Monday of each month from 10:00 am-12:00 pm* 

 

***THERE WILL BE NO IN PERSON MEETINGS***

ALL Coalition Meetings will be held virtually

DUE TO COVID-19 and the county-wide social distancing requirements.

Please join our Zoom Meetings by clicking here

(Meeting ID: 820 3190 6636 Passcode: 762883)

 Join our mailing list today, to be sure not to miss the invite​​

 

Meet the Staff

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Tamesha Valverde, Coordinator 

IBCLC

“My vision for the Coalition is to create a resource network of support that surpasses all cultures, languages, and biases…where families can be supported by the village so they can provide their children with the best start...Breastfeeding.”

Stockton native and mother of two teenage boys, Tamesha Valverde is an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and has worked in our community supporting breastfeeding families for over 18 years through the WIC program. As the former Vice President for BreastfeedSJC, she very knowledgeable in the needs of the community. She is passionate about advocating for breastfeeding, connecting women with resources and now serves in a new position, as the Administrative Coordinator of BreastfeedSJC.

Meet the Board

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Ericka DorseY, President

M.Ed., CLEC 

“I am super excited to continue on the extraordinary commitment of support, education, recognition, and service to the community that the Breastfeeding Coalition of San Joaquin County is known for.”

Ericka Dorsey, is a proud fourth-generation, former breastfeeding mother of three and has a deep desire to listen to and find solutions to increase breastfeeding rates for Black women and other vulnerable populations. She is also committed to amplifying the voices and stories of black women to both advocate for and inform local policies to ultimately foster improved maternal and child health outcomes and build stronger, holistically supported families. Ericka holds a master’s degree in Health Promotion and Education, a BS in Biology from Spelman College, and is also a certified fitness instructor. 

As a maternal and infant health consultant, she has contracted with organizations such as the California Breastfeeding Coalition to offer expertise in research in maternal/infant health to curate educational news and advocacy content through the Coalition’s social media platforms. She is also the co-founder of Flourishing Families, a community-based nonprofit centered around motherhood, breastfeeding, and wellness support for black mothers based in the San Joaquin County.

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Chrystal THORTON, Vice President

BACHELOR OF ART, SOCIAL SCIENCE

“I am excited and honored to have been appointed the new Vice President of the San Joaquin Breastfeeding Coalition. I look forward to learning from and with fellow board members and community partners, as a lifelong learner and professional in the field.”

Crystal Thornton is a Black woman, deeply rooted in Stockton, California. She is a mother, emerging scholar and maternal-child mental health paraprofessional. In 2019, she completed her associates degree in Early Childhood Education Development and will be completing a Bachelor’s of Arts in Social Sciences in May of 2021 from CSU Stanislaus. In the course of her studies, Crystal piloted mixed methods research concerning Breastfeeding amongst African American mothers in San Joaquin county, in an effort to understand the barriers and benefits for both mothers and children, as it relates to life expectancy outcomes. She is passionate about working with families in the community.

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Anna Groves, TREASURER

IBCLC

Anna Groves is a Lactation Consultant, Breastfeeding Coordinator and Peer Counseling Supervisor for Delta

Health Care’s WIC program. She has worked in the community for over 15 years through organizations such

as La Leche League and the Public Health WIC program. As an experienced breastfeeding mother, she worked

as a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor for many years and has a background in early childhood education. We are

excited to have her share her wealth of knowledge & experience working in the community.

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Kimberly SmitH, SECRETARY

RD, CLEC

"I am extremely passionate about working with the Breastfeeding Coalition of San Joaquin County because of the stellar leadership which strives to bring the highest quality information, support, and resources to community members."

Kimberly Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Lactation Educator (CLE), serving as Program Coordinator for San Joaquin County Public Health Services WIC.  She has worked for the nutrition program in various capacities as a dietitian and CLE for a total of eleven years. 

 

One of her duties as coordinator includes oversight of the WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Program. She also works collaboratively with programs within Public Health Services and currently serves on the State WIC Outreach Committee. Her attention to detail and amazing organizational skills are a welcomed asset to the BreastfeedSJC Board of Directors.

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MARY wOeLFel, Advisor  

MPH, IBCLC

“I am proud of all that the Breastfeeding Coalition of San Joaquin County has done in the

past and I am excited to be a part of our new efforts to reach out to the community and strengthen the support for breastfeeding families throughout the County.”

Mary Woelfel, one of the original founding “Mothers” of the Coalition, has a long standing reputation for breastfeeding advocacy in San Joaquin County and throughout the state of California. She has held multiple board positions within Coalitions at both the state and local level throughout the years. She served as the BreastfeedSJC President for well over 10 years and coordinated key programs such as the San Joaquin County Breastfeeding Initiative. In her retirement, we are proud to have her continue guide and support the BreastfeedSJC as an Advisor. 

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Erin Garcia,aDVISOR

RD, IBCLC

”I love working with the Breastfeeding Coalition of San Joaquin County because it is an avenue of true collaboration & connections to support the community. Many counties

don’t have that, not everyone plays nice together.”

Erin Garcia, a Registered Dietitian and Lactation Consultant, is the previous BreastfeedSJC Board President.

She has her Masters of Advanced Study in Maternal and Child Nutrition from UC Davis. She’s worked with families in the community since 2005 through support, education, and program development. She has a

passion for lifting others up and showing them what’s possible. 

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Mariya Rabovsky-Herrera,aDVISOR

IBCLC

 “Women do not fail at breastfeeding. We fail them. The system fail them. The community fails them. The women themselves and their breasts are not broken. The system is broken. This is why I am passionate about the work of the coalition… let’s change the system!”

Mariya Rabovsky-Herrera was born in Russia, grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, and have been in California since 2007. She received her Bachelor’s in Nursing degree from the University of San Francisco in 2012. She have been working in the Maternal Child Adolescent Health (MCAH) Programs of San Joaquin County Public Health Services since 2013, at which time she began attending the Breastfeeding Coalition meetings. She has worked as a nurse home visitor, the Senior Public Health Nurse / MCAH Program Coordinator and Fetal Infant Mortality Review Coordinator. As a CLEC and current breastfeeding mother of 1, she is a fierce advocate of breastfeeding. Her hope is to always work with families and babies, and the systems of care that serve them.