International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) recently sat down with Hannah Rice, MPH, IBCLC, Chair of the 2023 Conference Program Task Force (CPTF) for a behind-the-scenes look at program-planning for the ILCA 2023 Annual Conference, taking place 13-15 August 2023 at the Hilton Lake Las Vegas Resort and Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
With a number of innovative and thought-provoking sessions planned for this year, we wanted to give the lactation community a sneak peek of just some of what can be expected at this year’s conference before full session details are made available in May. Read the Q&A to learn about Hannah’s role, gain insight into some of this year’s session topics, what she is most excited about, and why this year’s conference is one not to miss!
Q&A with Hannah Rice, MPH, IBCL
Q: Please share a bit about your professional background and what brought you to ILCA.
A: My academic and professional background is in education and public health. I received my MPH in Global Health at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, where I attended the Mary Rose Tully Training Initiative to become a lactation consultant. I now work at Duke University as an IBCLC in pediatric outpatient services. I was drawn to ILCA as it provided me the opportunity to combine my passion for education, research, and lactation care. I love being a part of this collaborative and supportive community of lactation professionals!
Q: What excited you about the opportunity to serve on the Conference Program Task Force?
A: I truly believe that it is our duty as lactation professionals to continually learn and grow in our practice. The ILCA Annual Conference is an exciting opportunity to stay informed on cutting-edge research to better support families and communities in their breastfeeding goals. It is an honor to be part of the CPTF team.
Q: Abstract submission numbers are higher this year than they have been the past two years; as your team reviewed the submissions, what were some of the big/recurring themes you saw across all submissions?
A: There were a lot of great submissions sent in this year! One of the particularly exciting aspects of the many submissions we received were the new and innovative perspectives on common challenges we face in the lactation field. Many of the authors presented novel approaches to understanding and practicing key elements of lactation care.
Q: What did the CPTF look for when reviewing submissions for concurrent sessions?
A: With so many great submissions, it was difficult to select only a few for the concurrent sessions. The CPTF focused on identifying submissions with strong evidence-based research and content that was inclusive of our diverse ILCA community.
Q: Without giving away too much, is there any accepted content that you are excited about this year?
A: I am most excited about the wide range of topics that are covered in this year’s sessions. There will be speakers addressing policy, research, programmatic, clinical, and advocacy topics, providing interdisciplinary perspectives on key issues in the lactation field. Some of the highlights will be presentations on postpartum mood disorders, microbiota, and equity in lactation training and practice.
Q: Why should someone attend this year’s Annual Conference?
A: This is a special year as we can finally join together again and learn with one another in person. What is also really great is that anyone who registers for the in-person conference will get access to all the virtual and recorded sessions as well. This means more opportunities to access the interesting and exciting content from our speakers.
Visit the ILCA 2023 Annual Conference website for event details. Additional information will be posted online as it becomes available.