Blending the fields of perinatal social work and lactation counseling, Kimberly Garner currently lives and works in the mountains of northwestern North Carolina in Boone at the local health department on a five-county maternal and child health grant called Improving Community Outcomes for Maternal and Child Health. The project focuses on reducing infant mortality, improving birth outcomes, and bettering the child health of 0-5 year olds through the promotion of reproductive life planning, tobacco prevention and cessation, and the Triple P Positive Parenting Program. Kimberly is also passionate about breastfeeding initiation and duration among historically marginalized populations, which is why she became a member of the Appalachian Breastfeeding Network. Kimberly is bilingual in Spanish and recently worked in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a certified lactation counselor in both a federally-qualified health center and local hospital.
Since childhood, Kimberly has been passionate about the perinatal period and has worked in her adult life alongside women and families to improve systems of care. Since 2012, Kimberly has been a volunteer and state coordinator for Postpartum Support International, an international organization that serves individuals, families, and professionals experiencing or desiring more information about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Kimberly is also the North Carolina state representative for the National Association of Perinatal Social Workers and is working towards becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. After living in New York, Montana, New Mexico, and North Carolina, she is acutely aware of the inequities that persist in breastfeeding initiation and duration across racial and socioeconomic identities in Appalachia and beyond. Kimberly envisions devoting her life to addressing disparities through reciprocal community partnerships both domestically and internationally. In her spare time, Kimberly enjoys exploring the beauty and wonder of the outdoors both in the US and abroad with her partner and family.
Each month, our ABN board uses a random number generator to pick our member of the month. In an effort to showcase our many different members in many different fields from all over Appalachia working towards the same goal: transforming breastfeeding culture in Appalachia.