The Nevada Women's Fund annually honors women who demonstrate significant contribution to the Nevada community and achievement in their field. This year, the Nevada Woman's Fund will honor Madeleine Sigman-Grant, for her work providing women information about health and nutrition specifically in regards to the importance of breastfeeding. She will be honored along with other woman in the community at the 2014 Salute to Women of Achievement awards luncheon Thursday, May 29.
"I was stunned and thrilled to receive the award," Sigman-Grant said. "I feel very honored."
Sigman-Grant is a maternal child nutrition specialist for University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. During her 17 years at the University, she has worked to educate new mothers and medical professionals in Nevada about the importance of breastfeeding.
According to Sigman-Grant, Nevada ranks in the lowest 25 percent of states with breastfeeding supportive practices and a high percentage of low-income women use infant formula shortly after birth. Her goal is to provide information about the benefits of breastfeeding for both the mothers and their children.
"The great thing about working with Cooperative Extension is that all the information can be shared with the public online and is just a click away," Sigman-Grant said.
She has worked with the University and the Nevada Health Department to conduct research on breastfeeding practices in Nevada's hospitals. She uses this research to inform mothers and health professionals through fact sheets that are available online at the Cooperative Extension website.
Throughout the course of her work, she has started to see improvements and awareness across Nevada. The Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center in northern Nevada and St. Rose Dominican Hospital, San Martin campus in southern Nevada both recently achieved baby-friendly hospital initiative status. This status is earned by hospitals that follow a strict set of guidelines and offer a high level of care for infant feeding. There are only 175 hospitals in the United States that have achieved this status.
Sigman-Grant also focuses on childhood obesity with the "All 4 Kids" Program, which was honored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2012. She was also named Nevada Dietician of the Year in 2011.
Sigman-Grant will be honored at the 2014 Salute to Women of Achievement luncheon held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Thursday, May 29, at John Ascuaga's Nugget in the Rose Ballroom.