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Newsmaker: Dr. Diego Chaves-Gnecco

Matthew Santoni
| Monday, Aug. 1, 2011

Noteworthy : Chaves-Gnecco will receive a certificate of achievement this month from the Allegheny County Health Department for his work in promoting breast-feeding and supporting breast-feeding mothers, especially in Pittsburgh's Hispanic/Latino community. Through his clinic and the department, Chaves-Gnecco has worked to help mothers learn the techniques and get the equipment they need to more comfortably breast-feed their babies. He believes breast-feeding provides babies with antibodies and bonding experiences they cannot get from bottled formula.

Residence : Pine

Age : 41

Occupation : Assistant professor in UPMC's department of pediatrics; director and founder of the bilingual, bicultural Salud Para NiƱos ("Health for the Children") clinic at Children's Hospital

Background : Chaves-Gnecco founded his clinic in 2002 to provide medical and cultural services to Pittsburgh's Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking community. He said promoting breast-feeding became part of its mission when he found that breast-feeding rates of 80 to 90 percent among Hispanic women dropped to less than 50 percent when they immigrated to the United States.

Education : Medical degree from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana School of Medicine, Bogota, Colombia, 1994

Quote : "For a lot of these families, being first-generation immigrants, they don't have the same level of support from friends and family they might have had where they were from. We as pediatricians and health care professionals should do all we can do to support all mothers with breast-feeding.

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