An Advocate: An Interview with Melissa Lennox

ICEA is proud to spotlight a certified professional each month. This month, meet Melissa Lennox. Melissa resides in New York City and serves as ICEA’s Director of Public Policy. She is currently certified as a ICCE, Childbirth Educator CLC, Certified Lactation Counselor CHES,  and Certified Health Education Specialist.

What Inspired You To Join The Birthing/Education Community?

I was working as a home visitor, and family advocate for high-risk mothers in Queens, NY. During my time as an advocate, I was encountering mothers during their births that needed a high level of assistance, such as translation services for our recently arrived immigrant mothers. I knew I needed additional support to help these families with education, resources, and concrete services.

Do you have any stories from your work that you would like to share?

I have been very fortunate to have provided dozens of Childbirth classes in the communities I have served, and not once have I charged a mother or family for the education and resources provided to them. I have obtained hospital grants, sponsors, and partnerships to provide these services free of charge to needy families.

What Do You Like to Do in Your Freetime?

I just had a baby so all my free time is baby-time! We love to take walks together, and I love being in nature.

Why Did You Choose ICEA?

I wanted to be part of an organization that had the years and a reputation for supporting families and parents-to-be.

What are some of your responsibilities as ICEA’s Director of Public Policy? 

As Director of Public Policy, I focus a lot of my efforts on how we can support our professionals and the organization both through legislative efforts and obtaining support on a policy level.

What Advice Would You Give to Someone Looking to Get Certified?

I would say to anyone that is looking to get certified that this is a huge opportunity to join a circle of professional support! Get to know your mentors, teachers, and peers; the resources are priceless!

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