Winchester Hospital Receives Donation to Fund Lactation Program


Winchester Hospital Receives Donation to Fund Lactation Program

Winchester, MA (February 21, 2018) – Winchester Hospital has received a $2 million donation to establish a permanent endowment to support and expand the hospital’s lactation program for the more than 2,000 mothers who give birth at the hospital each year. It is one of the largest gifts ever received by Winchester Hospital.

The donors, who wish to remain anonymous, made the gift so that Winchester Hospital can ensure that mothers give their infants the best start by nursing their babies and having plenty of support to do so, even after they leave the hospital. With this grant the Maternal Child Health Department will expand lactation support, guidance, knowledge and hands-on assistance for mothers and babies during and after their hospital stay. The grant will also underwrite lactation-related training and educational opportunities for inpatient and outpatient nurses and clinicians.

“We are incredibly grateful for such a generous gift,” said Richard Weiner, MD, CEO, and CMO of Winchester Hospital. “The maternity program at Winchester Hospital focuses on keeping moms and babies safe and healthy, as we encourage and teach new parents the importance of skin-to-skin contact, best safe sleep practices, and the benefits of breastfeeding. This endowment will allow us to grow our lactation program, providing more services to our patients.”

Breastfeeding has many health benefits for infants – it provides the best nutrition for babies, protects against common childhood infections, provides better survival during baby’s first year (including a lower risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), and reduces long term risks for some chronic diseases.  Some studies suggest that breastfeeding reduces the risk for certain allergic diseases, asthma, obesity, type 2 diabetes; it may even help improve an infant’s cognitive development.

Despite these benefits, although about 81 percent of new mothers start out breastfeeding their babies, by six months that number drops to 52 percent.  At one year, the number of breastfeeding moms drops again to 31 percent. Winchester Hospital’s Lactation Program is focused on supporting and coaching mothers to promote and extend the time a baby is breastfed.

About Lahey Health

Lahey Health is an integrated health care system committed to providing the full continuum of health care services close to where patients live and work. The system is comprised of nationally recognized, award-winning hospitals, physicians, behavioral health services, and post-acute programs including home health services, skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities, and senior care resources. Lahey Health includes nearly 1,400 locally based physicians throughout northeastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. Lahey Health includes Lahey Hospital & Medical Center; Beverly Hospital; Addison Gilbert Hospital; Winchester Hospital; Lahey Health Continuing Care and Lahey Health Behavioral Services, more than 30 primary care physician practices, and multiple outpatient and satellite specialty care facilities. For more information, visit