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Kittitas (pronounced 'KITT-i-tass') County is located in central Washington
State. It spans from the lush forested Cascade Mountains to the upper Yakima River Valley plains and
the Columbia River.
The Local Strategies for Physical Activity and Nutrition (LSPAN) grant is no longer active. It focused on creating policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) change in communities to encourage healthy nutrition guidelines, support breastfeeding-friendly environments, improve nutrition and active play in early learning systems, and implement activity-friendly built environments. The Kittitas County Public Health Department is one of five recipients of this grant funding in Washington State.
PSE change is a strategy that Public Health uses to help create settings in our community that encourage healthy behavior and choices. This approach can create sustainable, population level change.
KCPHD will work on four different projects in Kittitas County as a part of the LSPAN grant.
KCPHD is offering support and guidance to local employers to implement Washington State’s breastfeeding accommodation requirements,
and to create additional optional policies and procedures to create a breastfeeding friendly workplace. Information on initial work done with fast food restaurants can be found in the Breastfeeding Accommodation Survey Results Report.
We know that breastfeeding friendly workplaces benefit both employees and employers! There are many success stories.
Find out how a fast food restaurant offers lactation break time, space and support for their employees
Project partners include the Kittitas County Breastfeeding Coalition and the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce .
The Kittitas County Public Health Department's
Making Milk at Work, Work!
Milk Expression in the Workplace Webinar
Rebekah Moon and Cambron Walker are Health Promotion Specialists with the Kittitas County Public Health Department. The Kittitas County Public Health Department (KCPHD) and Kittitas Valley Healthcare (KVH) worked together in getting the Accommodation for Breastfeeding Employees Policy implemented at KVH. This work was supported by the Local Strategies for Physical Activity and Nutrition (LSPAN) grant awarded to KCPHD by the Washington State Department of Health.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 70% of employed mothers with children less than 3 years old work full-time. Working outside the home is related to a shorter time breastfeeding. Federal and Washington State laws say certain employers must provide breastfeeding employees with breaks and space for expressing milk. In Kittitas County, some workplaces, like KVH, have increased support for breastfeeding parents.
Breastfeeding is considered the clinical “gold standard” for infant nutrition. Many health agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control, recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, and breastfeeding with complementary foods for a year or longer.
For babies, breastfeeding health benefits include:
For mothers, breastfeeding health benefits include:
Supporting breastfeeding employees is the right thing to do and provides benefits to businesses as well. Breastfeeding friendly employers see a return on investment, including:
In July 2019, the Washington State Legislature put into place breastfeeding accommodation requirements for employers, adding to the federal accommodation requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). RCW 43.10.005 requires employers of 15 or more employees to provide pregnancy and breastfeeding related accommodations, including
Employees’ Guide to Breastfeeding and Working
This guide helps pregnant and breastfeeding moms prepare for and navigate returning to work and expressing milk at work. Practical tips include how to approach your supervisor, dealing with coworkers, and sample pumping schedules.
Kittitas County Breastfeeding Coalition
Coalition members represent local breastfeeding experts who can offer support, guidance, and recommendations to help prepare for returning to work or who are back at work and need support to continue expressing milk.
Understand Your Rights
Washington State has breastfeeding accommodation requirements that go beyond federal law. Review these at RCW 43.10.005. If you feel that an employer has failed to meet these requirements, you can contact the Civil Rights Division of the Attorney General’s Office for more information.
For breastfeeding support free of charge in Kittitas County, contact the Family Birthing Place Lactation Program or the 4th Trimester Resource Center at Kittitas Valley Healthcare (KVH).
• To schedule directly with a KVH International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) contact Lactation Services at 509-962-7388.
Activity Friendly Environments are settings where people of all ages and abilities can be physically active on a regular basis. This can look like easily walking or biking to school, stores, banks, movie theaters, schools, etc., as well as taking part in these and other kinds of recreation within one’s own community.
The Active People, Health NationSM is a national initiative from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It aims to help Americans become more active by the year 2027 through a variety of strategies and resources. KCPHD continues to utilize these tools in our work.
To learn more about the Active People, Healthy NationSM Active People, Healthy NationSM website.
KCPHD has partnered with FISH Community Food Bank to work with emergency food system providers on incorporating nutrition guidelines into their program policies and operations. These guidelines will be based on the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans created by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. KCPHD will also work closely with SNAP-Ed (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education) and other community nutrition experts. Visit the KCPHD SNNAP-Ed webpage to learn more about SNAP-Ed activities.
KCPHD will partner with licensed local early learning providers to enhance nutrition guidelines and active play in early learning settings utilizing Dr. Diane Craft’s Active Play curriculum. Work will be based on the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans and the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Here are some fun ways to incorporate active play into your child’s life:
There are many different ways to move, and many different ways adults can be involved! Let’s play and learn together.
Kittitas County has a total area of 2,333 square miles. The highest point in the county is Mount Daniel at 7,959 feet above sea level.