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Andi Markell, medical science liaison, neonatal and pediatric nutrition

“Many babies are alive today because of Prolacta. I am honored to help educate people on the value of our work and the benefits an EHMD brings to premature infants.”

For the last 12 years, I’ve seen and studied the benefits of an Exclusive Human Milk Diet (EHMD) in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). I first learned about an EHMD for neonatal patients back in 2008 while working as a neonatal dietitian at Randall Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon.

The improved outcomes of patients fed an EHMD at Randall Children’s were so impressive that I wanted to help co-author and share with others our best practices that were helping babies. This research includes multiple clinical papers including a 2014 study that showed a statistically significant decrease in necrotizing enterocolitis rate by using an EHMD and a 2018 study on the impacts of an EHMD on premature infant growth.

It was this passion for neonatal health and nutrition that led me to Prolacta in 2018. One of my roles is serving as the company’s Medical Science Liaison, Neonatal and Pediatric Nutrition to manage the Nutrition Advisory Committee (NAC). NAC offers clinicians direct access to third-party dietitians to answer questions about neonatal nutrition and optimal use of our products. This is important because it offers objective information that further underscores the value of our work. To me, the NAC is one of the things that truly sets Prolacta apart from other companies in the industry.

I love putting the insight and knowledge I gained during my almost 20-year tenure at Randall Children’s into practice at Prolacta. It is extremely rewarding to help hospitals generate the best outcomes for very low birth weight infants.

While I miss working with babies in the NICU, my role at Prolacta helps me make an impact on an even greater number of babies by providing real-world EHMD experience. It means a lot to me knowing that my job has helped to change the lives of over 63,000 fragile premature infants throughout the world and counting!

“There is something very satisfying about sharing an idea with a NICU dietitian that will be implemented and ultimately benefit the lives of many babies.”

At Prolacta, I also enjoy being surrounded by compassionate people who share my commitment to neonatal nutrition and babies. We have an impressive team of experts who are all working towards the common goal of helping at-risk babies thrive, and I am truly honored to play a small part in helping to achieve this mission. Nothing feels better than knowing that what you do every day is helping to make a meaningful difference in the world!