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Meet Christine Patoff of Mothers’ Milk Bank in Arvada

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christine Patoff.

Christine, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In the early 1980s, a premature baby boy was born in Denver. The mother of this baby, Joyce Ann Burgett, had knowledge of milk banks and so when her own milk supply waned from the stress of worry about her baby, she asked for donor human milk. She soon found that there was no milk bank in Denver, so she made it her mission to start one. At the same time, Marianne Neifert, M.D. a pediatrician, also felt the need for a milk bank in Colorado. These two women met and formed a committee of healthcare professionals and community members that applied for and received a small grant from the Junior League of Denver. Two years later, Mothers’ Milk Bank opened its doors.

Today, thanks to the dedication of our ever-growing numbers of milk donors, volunteers, supporters and staff, Mothers’ Milk Bank (MMB) is celebrating 35 years of service, providing donor human milk to medically fragile babies across the United States. As the nation’s second nonprofit milk bank, MMB is consistently one of the largest distributors of donor human milk to neonatal intensive care units in nearly 160 hospitals across the nation, saving the lives of countless babies every day.

The dedicated staff at Mothers’ Milk Bank thoroughly screen, collect, pasteurize, analyze and dispense donated human milk for babies whose mothers cannot supply milk to meet the needs of her baby.

MMB was the first nonprofit milk bank in the United States to introduce an ISO 7 clean room, adopting strict standards to ensure the ultimate quality and safety of milk., and institute testing for drugs abuse. It is also able to dispense preterm, non-dairy and non-fat milk for babies with special needs.

Has it been a smooth road?
In recent years, Mothers’ Milk Bank and other nonprofit milk banks have encountered the challenges of corporations who have entered the human milk business domain. These companies compensate women for their milk and process it in ways that do not retain many of the nutrients. Additionally, the companies charge much higher prices, as they are for-profit companies. This competition has impacted the number of women who will donate their milk to the nonprofit network.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Mothers’ Milk Bank – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
As the nation’s second nonprofit milk bank, MMB is consistently one of the largest distributors of donor human milk to neonatal intensive care units in nearly 160 hospitals across the nation, saving the lives of countless babies every day.

WHY IT MATTERS
• One in eight babies is born preterm.
• Human milk is especially important for premature or sick babies, who are at ten times the risk for devastating intestinal infections if they are fed formula instead of human milk.
• Fewer than half of moms who deliver a baby prematurely can provide their babies with breast milk. Through donor milk, these preterm babies can still receive the benefits of human milk to help them grow and thrive.
• Some mothers of preterm and sick babies have health complications of their own or may need medications that prevent them from breastfeeding. Yet the babies of these moms can get many of the life-saving benefits through donated human milk.
• Human milk contains antibodies to fight disease and infection and can protect against allergies.
• Human milk contains growth hormones that help babies develop.

MMB was the first nonprofit milk bank in the United States to introduce an ISO 7 clean room, adopting strict standards to ensure the ultimate quality and safety of milk, and institute testing for drugs abuse. It is also able to dispense preterm, non-dairy and non-fat milk for babies with special needs.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Arvada is a terrific location for the operations of Mothers’ Milk Bank and, nationally, to be centrally located in Colorado is advantageous to serve states from Alaska to Florida. We have a large space that accommodates our state-of-the-art laboratory, the large freezers, and the shipping and receiving warehouse necessary to expedite the distribution of life-saving donor human milk.

Pricing:

  • $4.50/oz of donor human milk

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageDenver is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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