About Us

Our mission is to provide safe donor milk to preterm or ill babies in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma has one of the highest rates of preterm births in the nation, with one in seven babies born premature (~14%). The use of human milk increases the survival and development of these babies.


Additional OMMB goals include:

  • educating families and the medical community about the health impact of human milk
  • supporting breastfeeding families
  • providing information to the medical community about milk banking and the use of pasteurized donor milk
  • encouraging research on the use of human milk


PictureAnne Darnell Gillingham, JD

7530 S. Darlington Avenue

Tulsa, OK 74136


Andrea, photoAndrea Willeitner, MD, IBCLC


The Children’s Hospital

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

University of Oklahoma College of Medicine

1200 Everett Drive

7th Floor North Pavilion, ETNP 7504

Oklahoma City, OK 73104


Daryn, photoDaryn Kirkpatrick, MPH, CPH

Director, Office of Creative Media & Design

Oklahoma Health Care Authority

4345 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Oklahoma City, OK 73105


Melissa Caperton

Public Relations

3036 Weymouth Way

Norman, OK 73071


Dr. Crouse-croppedElisa Crouse, MD

Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education
University of Oklahoma College of Medicine

OU Health Sciences Center

PO Box 26901, WP 2410

Oklahoma City, OK 73190


John Armitage, MDJohn Armitage, MD

President and CEO

Oklahoma Blood Institute

1001 N. Lincoln Blvd.

Oklahoma City, OK 73104



Jenny Potter,2017Jenny Potter

Community Advocate

Moore, OK


TurmelleClaire_2017Claire Turmelle

Associate Director of Marketing

Stephenson Cancer Center

800 NE 10th Street

Oklahoma City, OK 73112



Becky Mannel, BS, IBCLC, FILCA

Director of Lactation Services, Department of OB/GYN

University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

2316 Shiloh Place

Edmond, OK 73034

405-271-4350 (office)



Keri Hale, RD/LD, IBCLC

901 N. Lincoln, Suite 330

Oklahoma City, OK 73104




Ken Early, CPA

Karri Hoss, CPA

Early and Means

1000 W. Wilshire, Suite 121

OKC  73116


Professional Advisory Group


Douglas Drevets, MD

Chief of Infectious Disease


405-456-5000, ext 63289


Becky Mannel, BS, IBCLC


Anne Darnell Gillingham, JD


Michael R. Gomez, M.D.

Chair, Department of Pediatrics

OU-Tulsa School of Community Medicine

Medical Director EOPC

The NICU at Saint Francis Children’s Hospital

6161 S. Yale Ave.

Tulsa, Ok.  74136

918-502-6044 office


Keri Hale, RD/LD, IBCLC


Elisa Crouse, MD


Daryn Kirkpatrick

Oklahoma Health Care Authority

The Oklahoma Mothers’ Milk Bank was the 13<sup>th</sup> milk bank operating in the United States when it began processing milk in August 2013. Prior to OMMB, the closest bank to Oklahoma was in Texas. There are frequent shortages nationwide as the demand for human milk in hospitals continues to increase.

For at least 10 years, Oklahoma mothers had been donating milk that was shipped to Texas milk banks for processing and distribution to hospitals. In 2007, OU Medical Center (OUMC) partnered with the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas (MMBNT) in Fort Worth, TX to become a milk bank depot, often considered a first step in developing a new milk bank. Oklahoma mothers then could deliver their milk easily to OUMC where it could be safely stored until pick up by MMBNT couriers. In the first three years of MMBNT’s operation, 10% of the milk it distributed was provided by Oklahoma mothers through OUMC.

Oklahoma neonatologists on occasion were utilizing pasteurized donor milk and in early 2011, OU neonatologists began regularly ordering donor milk for NICU infants. OUMC has the largest NICU in Oklahoma with 90 beds and often milk was not available due to inadequate supplies. At one point, OUMC was on a waiting list for almost 2 weeks due to shortages of milk. Ironically, OUMC was also one of the most prolific milk depots for the Texas milk bank in that Oklahoma mothers donated thousands of ounces of milk for other babies.

In February 2011, the OMMB Board of Directors was established and OMMB was legally incorporated as a 501c3 organization on March 3, 2011. OMMB’s Board of Directors is comprised of business, civic and maternal/child health leaders. The board functions in accordance with the bylaws of the OMMB. The Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) has generously partnered with OMMB to assist in operations. The milk bank is physically located in OBI’s newest building which provides a central location for delivering milk statewide and benefits from OBI’s on-site donor screening, statewide courier service and locations around the state for housing of milk depots. OMMB supplies pasteurized donor milk primarily to hospitals in Oklahoma though requests from hospitals in the surrounding region are considered as supply is available. Education and outreach to the public and health care professionals about the need for donor milk is an ongoing responsibility.

Neonatologists and other health care providers strongly encourage mothers of premature and ill newborns to provide milk to their newborns. Mothers are taught to express and store their own milk, and this milk is then fed via a tube to the critically ill infant. However, many of these mothers are themselves high risk for health complications, making this goal very challenging, and there are mothers who cannot provide any milk for their babies.

When a child’s own mother is unable to provide milk for her infant, pasteurized and tested donor milk is the only medically accepted way of providing human milk.

OMMB protects and supports breastfeeding and the use of a mother’s own milk and provides the alternative of pasteurized donor milk for medically compromised infants only when a mother’s own milk is not available.

Nothing is more agonizing than being a parent with a critically ill baby and thinking there is nothing you can do to help. Mothers can give a gift to help their sick baby that no one else can give and that is their milk. Many many mothers work very hard to express milk for their own baby and the most heart wrenching cases are when their baby does not survive. Most of these mothers donate their milk to be given to other babies in hopes of saving someone else’s baby. Other mothers have perfectly healthy babies and generously take the time to express extra milk for donating.