Our friend and colleague, Trudi Szallasi, was an online tutor with Health e-Learning from August 2005 until her untimely death from breast cancer in June 2008. Trudi was totally committed to helping mothers and babies to have a successful and happy breastfeeding relationship. She was a volunteer breastfeeding counselor with the Australian Breastfeeding Association, served as a Director on the National Board, and held the role of State president for 2 years. After qualifying as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) Trudi began a private practice, and ultimately became the President of the local branch of the Australian Lactation Consultant’s Association. In the year Trudi qualified as an IBCLC she gained the highest marks in the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners exam and was subsequently invited onto the IBLCE examination committee for the review of the following year’s exam.
She left behind three beautiful young children, a devoted husband and loving parents, brothers and their families, and countless friends.
Health e-Learning, by the awarding of this scholarship, is seeking to honour the memory of a truly remarkable and wonderful woman who made a great contribution to the mothers and babies in her care, the students of lactation who she taught, and the lactation world.
Full fees for:
The scholarship is open internationally. The scholarship will be awarded to the best-qualified applicant, with preference given to one who has or has had mother-to-mother/peer-to-peer breastfeeding counseling experience with a recognized volunteer peer counseling service (for example La Leche League, Australian Breastfeeding Association, National Childbirth Trust, etc)
Applications open mid-March and close at the end of May each year. The successful applicant will be notified in the second week of June.
It is expected that the successful applicant will agree to:
Hazwani is a medical doctor, a wife, and a mother of 2 daughters. After experiencing difficulties in breastfeeding her firstborn, she decided to follow her heart helping mothers and babies. In Medan, where she lives, breastfeeding support services are still limited. Hazwani became a certified lactation counselor in 2018 and took another training in lactation and with the support of her family, she opened her own lactation clinic in her mother’s garage. To reach more families, she joined the Indonesia Breastfeeding Mothers Association (AIMI) and actively participates in AIMI’s activities, educating families about breastfeeding. Now she also works in a hospital in Medan as a Lactation Doctor, helping mothers to prepare breastfeeding before birth and provides a lactation visit after birth.
While focusing on her work in lactation, she realised that becoming an IBCLC would allow her to make a bigger impact. The credential would make her more confident in giving support and help to families to reach their breastfeeding goals.
Luciana graduated from the Foreign Language University and has a master's in Intercultural Studies. When she gave birth to her daughter, she realized the fact that she needed support in breastfeeding, even though she followed a prenatal breastfeeding class. After a difficult start in breastfeeding, a lot of research done on the breastfeeding literature, and the support of an IBCLC, Luciana decided that she also can become the helpful person the parents need to initiate breastfeeding. And this means a total switch in her career as she is currently a Project Manager within an international corporation.
Luciana started doing volunteer work for a call center, answering mother’s calls from Romania and abroad related to breastfeeding concerns, as well as volunteer practice in one of the most important maternity wards in Bucharest, Romania. Currently, she is preparing for the IBCLC exam in April 2021 and counseling parents in breastfeeding and child nutrition, especially through phone or an online support group. Luciana is passionate about statistics and she is dreaming to increase the breastfeeding rates in her country, along with all the colleagues in her field, through education of parents, and medical health providers.
Aster Tang, a native of Singapore, has a background in science and a Masters in environmental policy. Since the birth of her child, Aster has been volunteering as a breastfeeding counsellor both online and in person through various organizations. She has a heart for helping parents navigate the postpartum period with the hope that the transition can be as smooth as possible. Aster is also a community interpreter, where she provides language services to limited English proficiency individuals in the community.
The rewarding experience of seeing parents gain confidence in their breastfeeding journeys spurred Aster to take it a step further and delve into more clinical components of lactation support through the pursuit of the IBCLC certification. As an IBCLC, Aster hopes to combine her clinical and counselling skills to provide ongoing community support, which she considers just as important as initial lactation assistance in helping parents reach their breastfeeding goals.
Nguyen is a qualified Breastfeeding Counsellor of The Australian Breastfeeding Association. She received her Cert IV in Nursing from the Australian Catholic University in 2012. However, her passion is not only about nursing, but also helping other members in her Vietnamese community especially those who find English a language barrier.
Having a linguistics background, she decided to study Master of Translation and Interpreting and got her degree in 2015. The lack of breastfeeding and parenting information support in the Vietnamese community, has urged her to research, translate and write related articles into Vietnamese. She has been counselling and helping thousands of Vietnamese mothers and families with breastfeeding issues, as well as weaning and parenting issues.
Nguyen is now working as an Interpreter and Translator while teaching Interpreting at Diploma level.
Fionnuala Cooney (Dublin, Ireland)
Fionnuala is married with two teenage sons. She is a medical doctor and currently works as a consultant in Public Health Medicine within the Health Service Executive in Dublin, Ireland.
Ireland has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world and Fionnuala regards this as a serious public health problem. Fionnuala has been involved in breastfeeding-related research and has been contributing to both policy and clinical support for breastfeeding in Ireland. She is an active member of the BFHI National Breastfeeding Committee and she has also been participating at the local level with both Cuidiú and La Leche League, the two main NGOs involved in volunteer peer breastfeeding counselling services in Ireland.
Fionnuala believes that qualifying as an IBCLC will increase her sphere of influence at the national level in the areas of policy and clinical practice. Her aim is to work with the breastfeeding community to re-establish breastfeeding as the societal norm in Ireland.
Health e-Learning is proud to have supported Fionnuala to reach her goal and she has now successfully achieved certification as an IBCLC in 2019. Congratulations Fionnuala!
In 2017 there were so many worthy applicants for the Trudi Szallasi Memorial Scholarship that we decided to award two Scholarships.
Kyla Wright (Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada)
Kyla has a background in health, having completed a 4-year post-graduate medical program in naturopathic medicine and a certificate in Infant Mental Health Promotion. After seeking support when she had her first baby from other mothers at the NWT breastfeeding support group, she then decided to become an active member and volunteered on the Board as a director-at-large and later, as co-chair. She was part of the team that reviewed the development of a peer support training program for the NWT and is now one of the peer support training facilitators.
Being born and raised in Canada’s north, Kyla has a desire to work with the women, families and communities that compose this rich and diverse landscape. She hopes to offer specialized breastfeeding care as an IBCLC to communities within the NWT that lack this support in a way that is culturally safe and relevant.
Dr. Faten M Tamim (Amman, Jordan)
Faten M Tamim is a consultant in Maternal and Child Nutrition, got her PhD in 2017. She is a specialist in Maternal and Child Health and got her MSc in 2008. She has 20 years experience at Ministry of Health as midwife, supervisor, mentor, educator and breastfeeding trainer. She founded the first private breastfeeding clinic in Jordan in 2014, as she realized the huge gap in exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months after birth.
In 2016, she founded The Breastfeeding Support Association to raise awareness among the whole community among the Jordanian society and to be the first formal umbrella that deal with the private health care system as Ministry of Health is dealing with the governmental health care system. With the other members of the association, she works on providing breastfeeding training among the health professionals to help in supporting mothers who give birth in private hospitals.
Health e-Learning proudly supported Faten's goal by helping her study during 2017/18 and she successfully achieve certification as an IBCLC in 2018. Congratulations Faten!
Denise Rangel-Holbrook (San Antonio, Texas, USA)
Denise lives in San Antonio, Texas with her two kids and husband. She has a strong history working in women's health and a passion for health education. In 2011, after experiencing both the joys and difficulties of breastfeeding, she decided to pursue a path towards becoming an IBCLC. She was accredited as a La Leche League Leader in 2012 and has since helped many mothers on their breastfeeding journey. In 2014 she helped found the Birth and Breastfeeding Alliance, a non-profit organization that provides free health education and support to San Antonio families.
Once qualified as an IBCLC, Denise plans to continue her passion of improving health education and accessibility in her community and looks forward to supporting mothers and babies in her new role.
Health e-Learning proudly supported Denise's goal by helping her study during 2015/17 and she successfully achieve certification as an IBCLC in 2017. Congratulations Denise!
Chelsie Robertson (South Auckland, New Zealand)
Chelsie lives in South Auckland, New Zealand, with her husband and 3 young sons’ ages 5, 3 and 1. She has previously been involved with Breastfeeding New Zealand and LLL in a peer counsellor capacity as a mother to mother support person. This sparked Chelsie’s passion for growing her lactation community in New Zealand. Currently she works as a self-employed primary care midwife, in partnership with women and families, facilitating normal birthing and postnatal care.
Upon successful completion of the IBCLC exam, Chelsie hopes to explore the possibilities of milk banking and milk sharing in New Zealand, focus on being a voice, and advocate for the breastfeeding women around New Zealand.
Health e-Learning proudly supported Chelsie's goal by helping her study during 2014/15 and she successfully achieve certification as an IBCLC in 2015. Congratulations Chelsie!
Latonia Anthony (Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA)
We had a wonderful selection of applicants from many parts of the world this year and again the decision was difficult. We are pleased to annonce the Trudi Szallasi Memorial Scholarship 2013 has been awarded to Latonia Anthony from Milwaukee, Wisconsin (USA).
Latonia Anthony is married and has three toddler daughters. She is a registered nurse, currently working at a long-term care facility. Although she loves working with seniors, but her passion has always been about working with new mothers and babies.
She has been a dedicated volunteer for the African American Breastfeeding Network for almost 4 years and serves many roles in the organization, including webmaster, peer advocate & counselor, and advisory council member. She enjoys educating and empowering families to give their child(ren) the best start in life by breastfeeding. She would like to become an IBCLC and gain a more extensive understanding of human lactation. Consequently, she will be a better resource for the families she serves in her urban community. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, crafting and going on short road trips.
Health e-Learning proudly supported Latonia's goals by helping her study during 2013/14 and successfully achieve certification as an IBCLC in 2014. Congratulations Latonia!
In 2012 there were so many worthy applicants for the Trudi Szallasi Memorial Scholarship that we decided to award two Scholarships.
Megha Sunil Mamulwar (India)
Dr Mamulwar is a medical doctor in Pune, India. She has completed her doctoral studies in Community Medicine and developed an increased interest in breastfeeding and lactation. She has also trained in breastfeeding counselling for antenatal and postnatal mothers and has experience as a Programme Manager for the NGO Institute of Health Management, part of the Reproductive and Child Health Services in Pune.
During her medical studies, Megha became interested in the immense benefit of human milk for premature and sick infants. She has taken this interest further by working towards the establishment of a Human Milk Bank in a municipal hospital in her city where it will be routine practice to provide pasteurised breastmilk to all neonates who are not able to receive their own mother’s milk.
She is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Medicine in Pune, working as a breastfeeding counsellor in a paediatric clinic and even though breastfeeding is normal practice in India, appropriate breastfeeding practices are often not followed and Megha hopes that her work when she qualified as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant will help to educate mothers with scientific information about breastfeeding which will help them to understand its importance.
Health e-Learning proudly supported Megha's goals by helping her study during 2012/13 and successfully achieve certification as an IBCLC in 2013. Congratulations Megha!
Shela Akbar Ali Hirani (Pakistan)
Shela is the Senior Paediatric Instructor at the Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery in Pakistan. She has degrees in science, Advanced Diploma in Human Development and a Master of Science in Nursing. In Pakistan, there has been a gradual decline in breastfeeding and increase in child mortality due to diarrhoea, malnutrition and other infectious diseases. Over the past 9 years, Shela has addressed these concerns in several research projects and international publications on topics related to human lactation and maternal and child health such as breastfeeding and workforce as well as aspects of kangaroo mother care and effects of humanitarian emergencies on infant health. She is currently conducting two research projects related to maternal and child mental health.
In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Shela also provides mentorship to the paediatric faculty and masters nursing students, and provides clinical care, supervision and counselling at the outpatient paediatric unit of the Aga Khan University Hospital. Once certified as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Shela intends to work in collaboration with government and non-government organisations as a change agent to introduce practical measures to address the premature cessation of breastfeeding by continuing research, introduce expanded lactation modules into the university nursing programmes, and develop education models for pre and postnatal mothers.
Health e-Learning proudly supported Shela's goals by helping her study during 2012/13 and successfully achieve certification as an IBCLC in 2013. Congratulations Shela!