George Bugg, Jr., MD, MPH, is currently the chief of the neonatology service at Grady Memorial Hospital and the neonatal director of the Emory Regional Perinatal Center. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at
Knoxville (BA), Meharry Medical College (MD), and Emory University (MPH). He is a charter member of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine and was trained in lactation management at Wellstart International. He and his wife, Kimarie Bugg, are the proud parents of five children.

Rev. Rhonda Crawford Hicks is presently the Minister of Congregational Care at Greenforest Community Baptist Church in Decatur, GA. She is a graduate of Hampton University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Foods, Nutrition and Institutional Management. Her career has consisted of having been a Home Economist in Business (HEIB) with an emphasis in Nutrition. She served as a frequent visitor within New York state’s County schools educating children, in a fun way, about the value of nutrition. She has also been a Women, Infant and Childrens, (WIC) Nutritionist in the state of Virginia. On a personal note, Rev Hicks breast fed her three biological children and other babies who were in crisis, having accepted much of the philosophy of La Leche League. As a major advocate of breastfeeding, she has supported Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere and Kimarie Bugg for the past 8 years and has served on the Board for 1 ½ years.

Mary Nicholson Jackson, CLC, is Vice President of Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere Inc. (ROSE).  Mary is presently working with Grady Health System’s WIC Program as a Breastfeeding Consultant. Mary does daily bedside counseling, support the NICU families who are breastfeeding, teaches perinatal breastfeeding education and coordinates breastfeeding education for Emory and Morehouse medical student and other Ancillary Health Divisions of the hospital. She is the Co-Chair of the Hospital’s Baby Friendly Initiative team. Mary was President of the Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition (GBC) for two years and prior to that was a volunteer co-chair of the Georgia Task Force for Breastfeeding. Under Mary’s leadership and partnering with the Georgia Maternal Child Health Division and GA AAP, GBC was able to secure a paid PT staff person to help with the day-to-day business of the GBC. Mary has worked as an advisor for the Southeastern Region and National WIC Peer Counselor programs.

Jeretha McKinley has guided the national replication of HC One’s community health worker programs since 2001. She has more than thirty years of public health experience with governmental and nonprofit organizations, including Healthy Families, WIC programs in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Mississippi, Arkansas, Michigan and Illinois, and a number of city and state Departments of Health.

In 1996, UNICEF and WHO recognized her work by selecting her along with 30 other experts representing 20 countries, to develop worldwide standards for training in breastfeeding. With her vast experience in program management, implementation, and evaluation, Ms. McKinley is viewed as an expert in peer-based community outreach programs. As a skilled trainer and facilitator deeply effective in multi-cultural settings, she is known for her laughter and her honesty.

Betty Neal,RN., M.N., IBCLC, is a founding member of Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere Inc. (ROSE). Betty has worked in women’s health for over 30 years. She completed certification as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner from Emory University. She recently retired from the State of Georgia Department of Human Resources, DeKalb County Board of Health as a public health nurse and program administration where she managed, developed and implemented numerous statewide and local public health programs. Her past experiences include instruction in a baccalaureate nursing program and mother-baby nursing in a large urban hospital. She has a passion for mothers and babies and believes we must support and nurture our mothers who will nurture our babies”.

Dr. Sahira Long is a board certified pediatrician and lactation consultant, and a Fellow of both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM). She is a graduate of the George Washington University School of Medicine, where she is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics.   She is Medical Director for Children’s Health Center—Anacostia in Washington, DC and for the Children’s National East of the River Lactation Support Center.

Dr. Long has been involved in breastfeeding advocacy on the national, state and local level. As president of the DC Breastfeeding Coalition and a member of the DC Lactation Commission since their inception in 2004 and 2016 respectively, she works collaboratively with the DC AAP Chapter Breastfeeding Coordinators. She currently serves as Co-Chair for the United States Breastfeeding Committee’s CRASH Committee that oversees the organization’s diversity and inclusion efforts. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere (ROSE) and the AAP Section on Breastfeeding Executive Committee. She represents ROSE on the AAP Physician Engagement and Training Focused on Breastfeeding Project Advisory Committee.

Dr. Long participated as a panelist during the US Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding and is featured as an expert in the US Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health It’s Only Natural campaign ( to improve breastfeeding rates among African Americans. She has published peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and blogs on various topics related to breastfeeding.

Michal Young, MD, F.A.A.P., is currently an Associate Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health at Howard University College of Medicine. She also serves as the Medical Director of the B.L.E.S.S. (Breastfeeding Lactation Education Support Services) Initiative as well as Director of the NICU and Newborn Services, at Howard University Hospital. She is a graduate of Howard University College of Medicine, Class of 1979. Dr. Young completed a rotating internship in Medicine and Pediatrics at Grady Memorial and Emory Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, followed by a Pediatric residency at Howard University Hospital, and a fellowship in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at Georgetown University Hospital. Most of her clinical and academic practice was at D. C General Hospital where she was the Director of the N.I.C.U. for the last five years prior to the closure of that Hospital in July 2001.

Dr. Young has several publications and presentations over a range of topics governing infant care. Her research interests are in developmental outcomes of the ELBW, HIV perinatal transmission, and in breastfeeding education for professionals and parents. Dr. Young had just completed her fellowship in Neonatology at the time of the birth of her first child. She recalls how poorly educated she was about breastfeeding and the benefits of human milk. This experience placed her on a life-long quest to improve breastfeeding education for medical professionals, and patient’s families. Dr. Young speaks locally and nationally about the benefits of breast milk and breastfeeding for the human infant. She is a member of the ILCA Advisory panel, the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, the Section on Breastfeeding in the American Academy of Pediatrics, one of the Breastfeeding Coordinators for the D.C. Chapter of the American
Academy of Pediatrics, and the Vice-President of the D.C. Breastfeeding Coalition.

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