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Mercy Opens Milk Bank Depot in Rogers

2 min read

Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas announced that it has opened a milk depot in its Rogers hospital in support of the UAMS Milk Bank.

The Mercy NWA Milk Depot is a designated space for women to donate milk, which will be sent to the UAMS Milk Bank for screening, pasteurization and nutritional analysis, Mercy said in a news release. After processing, milk will be sent to hospitals throughout Arkansas.

“This initiative addresses a critical need for donor breast milk and aligns with our work to improve outcomes for babies, reduce the maternal mortality rate and support the well-being of families in Northwest Arkansas,” said Hannah McHardy, prenatal nurse navigator with Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas

Located just off UAMS’ main campus in Little Rock, the UAMS Milk Bank focuses on the health of mothers and newborns in Arkansas through encouragement and support of breastfeeding. It’s the first facility of its kind in Arkansas.

Previously, Arkansas hospitals relied on donor milk purchased from milk banks in Texas, Michigan, Illinois and Oklahoma, costing more than $1 million a year.

In 2021, the Arkansas Legislature passed Act 225 establishing the creation of the milk bank and a special fund to help support the bank.

“We are very excited to have a new drop off location in Northwest Arkansas to make access to the Milk Bank easier for our generous milk donors,” Dr. Misty L. Virmani, executive medical director of the UAMS Milk Bank, said in the release. “The connections we are building will help strengthen networks of support for breastfeeding women around our state and help keep Arkansas’ mothers’ milk going to help sick babies in the state’s NICUs.”

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