NEW YORK — The Bloomberg administration has announced that since beginning its search in late April for a community-based breast-feeding advocate, Mario Duchovny of Bushwick is the frontrunner to receive the position.
The breast-feeding promoter will receive a yearly salary of $73,000 to lead the Breastfeeding Empowerment Zone program. The mission of BFEZ is to supply parents living in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Brownsville with information about breast-feeding. The leader of the initiative will personally manage breast-feeding support groups, visit homes throughout Central Brooklyn and conduct one-on-one consultations with mothers interested in breast-feeding.
“I’m looking pretty forward to dis,” said Duchovny, 38, a construction site supervisor. “I thank the city—the greatest city on earth!—for recognizing that even though I am not a broad, I know how to talk to [women].”
The program manager will work on behalf of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, playing a major role in Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “Latch on NYC” initiative. Along with promoting breast-feeding among parents, Latch on NYC also asks hospitals “to support a mother’s choice to breastfeed and limit the promotion of infant formula in their facilities which can interfere with that decision,” according to a city press release.
“The Department of Health and I have the utmost confidence in Mr. Duchovny’s experience,” said Bloomberg. “Providing women in New York with knowledge about the dangers of using formula is something we count on him delivering thanks to his prior experience around construction sites, where he engaged women on an hourly basis about the appearance and health of their breasts.”
In March, the Health Department received a three-year $1.1 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to help fund the breast-feeding promotional program.
“I have dis one idea where I go around carrying empty plastic milk containers,” said Duchovny, “and I knock on a mother’s door, and when she answers, I says, ‘These milk jugs are empty, are dose?’ And of course, I am referring to her breasts.”