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 in 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:
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!
Krista Gray (Egypt)Krista is a La Leche League Leader who, until recent political turmoil, was living with her family in Egypt. Krista was instrumental in setting up a non-governmental organisation in Egypt involving doctors and IBCLCs, the focus of which is women’s and children’s health issues from pregnancy through the first two years of life.
Once qualified as an IBCLC herself Krista plans to work in partnership with medical, nursing and lactation staff to establish education for pregnant women and hospital and nursing staff, and focus on changing hospital practices to facilitate normal birthing and implement Baby Friendly Initiatives.
Health e-Learning proudly supported Krista's goals by helping her study during 2011/13 and successfully achieve certification as an IBCLC in 2013. Congratulations Krista!
Lam Yan Yee Heidi (Hong Kong)
Lam Yan Yee Heidi was awarded the scholarship in 2010. Heidi is a mother of 2 young girls and an experienced LLLL in Hong Kong. Heidi is committed to improving breastfeeding knowledge amongst the Chinese community and is keen to become involved in health professional education once she is an IBCLC.
Health e-Learning proudly supported Heidi's goals by helping her study during 2010/11 and successfully achieve certification as an IBCLC in 2011. Congratulations Heidi!
Jolie Black Bear (Alabama, USA)
Jolie Black Bear was awarded the 2009 Trudi Szallasi Memorial Scholarship. Jolie is an experienced LLL Leader and her goal is not only to provide care to mothers and babies in a community setting, but also to set up more resources for Native American families, including peer counseling programs and community based mother-to-mother support groups.
Health e-Learning proudly supported Jolie's goals by helping her study during 2009/10 and successfully achieve certification as an IBCLC in 2010. Congratulations Jolie!