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Legacy pharmacy becomes a human donor milk pick-up site for infants with a medical need

September 21, 2022

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Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center has partnered with Northwest Mothers Milk Bank to open the first donor milk distribution site in SW Washington. Clark County residents can stay local to get much-needed service.

Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center has joined Northwest Mothers Milk Bank (NWMMB) to open the first human donor milk distribution site for families in Southwest Washington. Families leaving the hospital with infants with a medical need for donor milk can get it from the Legacy Salmon Creek Apothecary (pharmacy). Previously, families had to wait for the milk to be shipped overnight from NWMMB or drive to its Tigard, Oregon location. Local access means avoiding additional shipping and gas costs, and families can obtain milk for their babies the same day they leave the hospital.

Legacy Health supports breastfeeding both in the hospital and after families return home. For all infants, especially premature babies, a mother's milk is always the first choice for feeding. Still, when mother's milk is unavailable, pasteurized donor human milk is the next best option. "Our priority is to help breastfeeding families be successful," said Kacia Gauthier, nurse manager, Legacy Salmon Creek's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. "The new milk distribution site strengthens the comprehensive services we offer our families."

Kim Robey's fraternal twins were unexpectantly born six weeks early at Legacy Salmon Creek. She could not express milk and relied on donor milk from NWMMB for her daughters. "Because the babies were early, my body wasn't ready to produce the nutritious milk the twins needed, so I'm glad donated breast milk was an option," said Robey. "It's awesome knowing mothers who struggled like me now have a local option."

Joanne Ransom, BSN, RN, IBCLC, Clinical Director of NWMMB, said that without the generosity of the milk donors in the Pacific Northwest offering donor milk, this would not be possible. "By hosting a donor milk distribution site, Legacy Salmon Creek is helping meet the need for safe, pasteurized donor milk in their community."

Legacy Salmon Creek will be the only site in SW Washington to support families. Families who want donor milk need a prescription from their health care provider and to call ahead to ensure donor milk is available at 360-487-3700. Legacy Salmon Creek's Apothecary (pharmacy) is open Monday - Friday from 9 am - 6 pm.

Kim Robey’s twins were born early at Legacy Salmon Creek and needed donated human milk

Dietician Laura Oltmann storing new human milk received at the Legacy Salmon Creek Apothecary (pharmacy).

Kacia Gauthier, Legacy Salmon Creek Family Birth Center manager; Megan Kjeldan, Legacy lactation specialist; Laura Oltmann, Legacy dietician; and Ryan Erlewine, Legacy Salmon Creek pharmacy director.

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