When you dream something is possible and work really hard in collaboration with colleagues, sometimes those dreams become reality!  It has been a very busy and exciting past few months for Health e-Learning-IIHL and the years’ prior have been even more of an adventure.  Sometimes the paths cross at the right time and this was the case for what has developed into the International Institute of Human Lactation Inc., (Health e-Learning-IIHL) collaborating with the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR).

The journey started many years ago yet began to blossom about 4 years ago with a small team Louise Dumas, MSN, PhD, Chantal Doucet DC, DICCP,MSc, and myself, Carole Dobrich, B.Sc, RN. IBCLC.  

We all had a similar goal to improve lactation through interdisciplinary education. We believed that lactation support needed a village which included all health disciplines.  We wanted to develop an advanced lactation program designed for health care professionals from a variety of backgrounds, with each bringing their own strengths to the learning process. It took a few years as we assessed, evaluated and planned what was possible. We asked international experts to evaluate the content validity, relevance, and feasibility of our proposed interdisciplinary graduate program in advanced lactation and they responded.

After many meetings and negotiations, Health e-Learning-IIHL has partnered with UQTR to offer the first lactation graduate diploma – Advanced Interdisciplinary Approach to Lactation, being offered in French and online format. Health e-Learning-IIHL has adapted its well known BreastEd series (DAL6004) accommodating the university graduate requirements and providing 8 university credits. We are proud to be part of this innovative project and privileged to work alongside the wonderful UQTR team.  

This program is designed for practicing healthcare professionals and graduates of university health science programs. It provides a framework for the development of advanced skills related to breastfeeding promotion, protection and support based on innovative and coherent interdisciplinary interventions. The program is therefore intended for all health professionals (physicians, nurses, nutritionists, pharmacists, midwives, chiropractors, dentists, etc.), regardless of their discipline, who wish to refine their knowledge and improve their skills in the very important field of lactation. Early detection of complex clinical problems and interdisciplinary clinical management based on evidence based practice and international guidelines are at the heart of the program.

We are proud to announce that there were 74 applications and this past September 2021, 64 students were accepted as part of the first cohort to enter the program. This first year all are Francophones and from Quebec, Canada. This program has been developed to soon become a fully bilingual (French-English) and international offer available online in the coming years. 

Special thanks go to Louise Dumas and Chantal Doucet for all their incredible work in helping to get this project off the ground. Special thanks also go to the Dean of Studies, Mr. Adel Dahmane, Ph.D., for all his support and encouragement for the program to become part of UQTR.  The Health e-Learning-IIHL part of the project would not have been possible without the full support of all our team, administration, IT and our tutors. Special mention to Freddy Angel, our IT magician, Melanie Gingras, our professional development educator behind the scenes and Valerie Lavigne, the first tutor who welcomed the first cohort into our village. 

Health e-Learning-IIHL is proud to be part of the Advanced Interdisciplinary Approach to Lactation graduate diploma program partnering with UQTR. Find out more about the program here (currently in French only)

Carole and Lenore