Last but not Least, Portia Louise

Head of Clinical Lactation Services


Portia L. Williams RN BSN IBCLC is an International Board Certified Lactation Consult with 12 years of Maternal Child Experience, her personal experience as a NICU mom guides her love for supporting breastfeeding.  She is a proud graduate of UL Lafayette and has been employed at Touro since 2004.  Portia is a proud mom of two breastfed boys, which she tandem nursed.  She is the co-founder of NOLA Baby Cafe' and provides weekly free lactation consults to community women. Portia has been avid breastfeeding supporter volunteering her time to develop other breastfeeding initiatives including an initiative to promote breastfeeding in the childcare setting.


Background


H.E.R. Institute is the vision of founder, Meshawn Tarver while growing up in the city of New Orleans. Since the age of 14 Meshawn’s dream was a healthier, happier community where individuals and families could live to their optimum potential. For over a decade Meshawn has worked in the field of public health to improve the lives of the community through various health, education and social initiatives. The goal of H.E.R. Institute is to impact change in the community by educating and empowering the individual to be the change the community needs, starting with the individual. Each individual will be inspired and coached to make over themselves in all aspects of their lives physically, mentally, socially, economically and spiritually. 


​Vision

Healthy, Happy and Peaceful Communities

Mission

To inspire, educate and support women, men, children and their families in their journey to a healthier life through Health, Education and Research services.

Motto

Changing Our Community Through H.E.R.

Health

Introducing Sis. Meshawn!

Executive Officer, Maternal and Child Health Consultant


Meshawn was raised in the city of New Orleans and graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana with Bachelor’s in Chemistry and a minor in Biology. She attended the Master’s of Public Health Program at George Washington University with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health.  After having her first daughter, she returned home to work with Tulane Xavier Center for Excellence in Women’s Health as the Senior Program Coordinator for Breastfeeding.  She was the first in many generations in her family to breastfeed. Her mother nor maternal grandmother has breastfed and thus couldn’t pass down the art of breastfeeding to her. As a first time mom, she experienced the common breastfeeding issues as other women such as cracked nipples, poor pump selection, no prenatal breastfeeding education/provider recommendation, very little exposure to breastfeeding, access to free formula for early supplementation and more.  

She used her experience and lack of knowledge as the inspiration for her first public health position. Her position required her to develop and implement a breastfeeding peer counselor program, health care provider training and coordinate a the local efforts for the National Breastfeeding Awareness Campaign; however, her drive and dedication to breastfeeding she worked with Louisiana on a state breastfeeding strategic plan which inspired her to develop several additional programs/activities including a breastfeeding in the workplace program, an elective for medical students, qualitative breastfeeding research in the black community and more.  

Later on Meshawn founded the Greater New Orleans Breastfeeding Awareness Coalition and continues to work to promote breastfeeding in the community through various initiatives. Meshawn has also served as Director for Administration and Operations and Executive Director for local non profit organizations. She currently serve as a Maternal and Child Health Consultant with her company, H.E.R.S. focusing solely on projects that improve the quality of life for women and children. Her topics of interest include breastfeeding, improved birth outcomes for black babies, preconception care and health coaching. Meshawn went on to have two additional daughters who she tandem nursed past their second birthdays including six months of exclusive breastfeeding and no bottle usage.

research

education