Date of Award


Degree Name

Nursing (D.N.P.)


College of Nursing

First Advisor

Patricia Thomas, PhD, RN

Second Advisor

Kelli Damstra, DNP, RN

Third Advisor

Barbara Hawkins-Palmer, MA


Introduction: African American women have the lowest rates of breastfeeding in the United States compared to other racial and ethnic groups (DHHS, 2016). Peer support increases breastfeeding rates (Shakya, 2017). An evidence-based implementation toolkit will provide key stakeholders the information and skill development needed to successfully implement and sustain peer support programs geared toward increasing breastfeeding rates for African American women in West Michigan. The purpose of this paper is to disseminate the quality improvement process used to develop an evidence-based toolkit guided by a secondary data analysis from research data collected in a previously implemented peer mentor program.

Objective: Create a toolkit to increase breastfeeding sustainability in African American women.

Methods: The design for this evidence-based initiative was translation of evidence into practice. The setting for this project was a county-based health department in the Midwest. The outcomes were measured using a 4-point Likert type scale in paper format with a sample (n=12) and a stakeholder focus group for themes and next steps.

Results: The toolkit was helpful to 83.3% of respondents (n=10) and 64.06% (n=7) believed the toolkit would help the program run more effectively.

Conclusions: The toolkit contained helpful information and will improve program implementation. The use of an implementation model in the toolkit was well perceived by participants. Outcomes also suggested the need for clarification on target user, purpose, and plans for updating common topics.

Implications: After making clarification changes, the toolkit should be piloted upon program resumption.

Available for download on Thursday, April 28, 2022