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Research looking into breastfeeding trends for Hmong women

​​June 4, 2024

WESTON – Marshfield Clinic Health System is partnering with the Medical College of Wisconsin in a project that seeks to identify the factors that influence breastfeeding in Hmong women.

‌The effort started after Marshfield Medical Center-Weston recently analyzed quality data by breaking it down by race and ethnicity. This is a new health equity requirement set forth by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and The Joint Commission. 

‌The analysis found that Marshfield Medical Center-Weston's exclusive breastfeeding rate was drastically lower in the Asian/Hmong population than in the white/non-Hispanic population. The disparity is not exclusive to the Weston hospital. However, research into why the disparity exists is scarce. 

“As a health care organization, we have a duty to provide equitable care to all patients we serve," says Ashley Knox, quality manager at Marshfield Medical Center-Weston. “We owe it to our patients and the community to understand where we may have opportunities to enhance health care equity and take actions to improve."

Information is being gathered through interviews with Hmong women over 18 who have children or are currently pregnant. Kia Lor, a Medical College of Wisconsin-Wausau medical student, is leading the interview effort.

“I am committed to women's health, health equity, and always seeking ways to enhance health care by delivering community-specific care," Lor said. “The breastfeeding statistics are startling and warrant further discussion to identify the gaps. Through my research project involving interviews with Hmong mothers in Wisconsin, educators, health care providers, and social workers will gain a better understanding of the factors influencing a Hmong woman's decision to breastfeed or bottle-feed."

If you are interested in taking part in the project or know someone who is willing to participate, click this link to sign up for an interview.​


 Media Relations

John Gardner
Marshfield Clinic Health System Director of Communications
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Jeff Starck
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715 389-4978

Dan Baulch
Senior Communications
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Beaver Dam
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Jim Korth
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Joe Rizzo
Director of Public Relations and Business Development –
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