Meet Our Peer Counselors 

< Peer Counselor Program

Each Peer Counselor has an office in the local health unit in the county where she is assigned except in Sebastian County, where the Peer Counselor is located in the WIC Clinic at 6601 Phoenix.

Boone County - Harrison  

“I breastfed my first three babies before I started working as a peer counselor. Now, that I am breastfeeding my fourth baby, I have regained my love and passion to help all mothers. I truly desire to help mother’s breastfeed their babies. I love to share my experiences with parents in hopes that I can help them see that they are not the only ones. With my own experiences and education, I want to help you over any road bumps you come across your path to success.  Always remember that if I don’t know the answer, I will find it for you!"  She also invites you to join the breastfeeding support group that meets at 1 p.m. on the last Friday of each month in Boone County and at 1 p.m  on the second Friday of each month in Marion County. 


Starla Carter
Boone County Office: 870-743-5244
Marion County Office: 870-449-4259
Work Cell: 870-552-5821
Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Crittenden County - West Memphis

Cathy’s mission is to encourage expecting moms to make informative decisions about breastfeeding and support breastfeeding moms in her community.  Originally born in Venezuela, Spanish is Cathy’s first language.  She moved to the US in the 1980s.  She states “I’ll be more than happy to assist with any Spanish translations.”   

Cathy (Maria) Durham
Crittenden County-West Memphis
Office: 870-735-4334
Cell: 501-554-6798
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Desha County - Dumas

As the “Say Yes to Best” Peer Counselor, Kathy states “It is important for mothers to be able to give their baby a good start in life, and that is with breastfeeding.”  She is excited about meeting mothers and their babies as they experience a whole new life together.

Kathy James
Desha County-Dumas
Office: 870-382-2377
Monday-Friday; 8:00am-12:00pm

Greene County - Paragould/Lawrence County - Walnut Ridge  

Trained with the very first group of WIC Peer Counselors in the state, Leisa has a passion for helping moms. She has been with ADH for 20 years and 19 of those years have been as a peer counselor. “As a mom of three boys, I know that all babies are different so I am very aware of this when I listen to each mom and her situation.”

 Leisa Kennedy

Leisa Kennedy
Mobile 870-637-2225
Office (Paragould) 870-236-7782
Office (Walnut Ridge) 870-886-3201
Paragould: Monday and Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Walnut Ridge:  Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Faulkner County - Conway

If you recognize Millie, it’s because she has previously worked as a WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor in Faulkner County.  Millie is a mother of three children.  She breastfed all her children while returning to work and with little family support.  She understands the challenges most moms can be faced with. She particularly has a special sensitivity for working, single, military, and teen moms. It is her desire to help moms have a better understanding of the benefits, options and support available to them and to educate the community on how and why breastfeeding support is vital to our public’s health.


Millie Goins
Office: 501-450-4941
Monday and Wednesday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Friday, 12 p.m.-3 p.m.

Garland County - Hot Springs

“It’s ok as a mom not to know everything.  We learn as we grow, and we all want what’s best for our babies.  I love learning, educating, sharing, and teaching other women how amazing breastfeeding can be for both mother and baby.  From experience with breastfeeding my babies, there isn’t anything that can ever compare.  What excites me about being a breastfeeding peer counselor is being able to relate and help other mothers because I’ve been there also.  It’s easier to relate when someone has shared the same experience as you.”


Trenise E.
Office: 501-624-3394
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Independence County - Batesville

Ambra began working as a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor (BFPC) in April 2013. She wanted to become a BFPC to help other moms have the same loving bond that she had with breastfeeding her two little girls (a 12 year old and a 2 year old). She is excited to get to teach new mothers about something she is so passionate about!

Ambra Huff
Office: 870-793-8848
Monday, 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.; Tuesday - Wednesday, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.  

Independence County - Batesville

Brittany wanted to become a BFPC stating “I have always been passionate about breastfeeding, and I felt that mothers in our area need to have someone to educate them better on the benefits of breastfeeding. A lot of new breastfeeding mothers worry themselves about whether or not their baby is getting enough to eat, and I also want to educate them on topics such as this. The most exciting thing about being a breastfeeding peer counselor is seeing a mother and baby succeed in their breastfeeding relationship.”

Brittany Ottaway
Independence County-Batesville
Part-time: 20 hours per week
Office: 870-793-8848

Lonoke County - Cabot/Lonoke  

Kim is here to support you by sharing what she knows about breastfeeding. “You can consider me your new friend and feel free to call me anytime you have questions or concerns. Breastfeeding is a natural thing but it’s not always easy so I’ll be here when you need help and, trust me, most people need help in one way or another.”


Kim Helmbeck
Office (Cabot) 501-843-7561
Office (Lonoke) 501-676-2268
Work Cell: 501-605-3612
Lonoke Health Unit:  Monday & Wednesday 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Cabot Health Unit:   Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Pulaski County - Central

"I am a mom to five breastfed babies, and I am currently breastfeeding my youngest.  I am passionate about breastfeeding and love being able to help moms enjoy their breastfeeding experience.   I will be there to help you discover your personal goals for breastfeeding and strive to meet them.  I will do my best to educate, support, and encourage you throughout you breastfeeding journey." 


Stephanie N. Brown
Office: 501-280-3343
Pulaski Co-Central
Monday - Friday, 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Pulaski County - Little Rock

“It’s okay to ask questions!  As women, we naturally want what’s best for our babies. They don’t come with instruction manuals so most of us have lots of questions when they arrive.  As a mother who breastfeeds, I have a deep passion for helping moms like you get support and assistance with any and all questions as you take your breastfeeding journey. I have a place in my heart for you because I am just like you! I am the mother of two. I have a daughter, whom I breastfed for almost 18 months and a son who I am currently breastfeeding.  I am ready, eager, and able to help you!"

Sarita Hendrix
Office: 501-565-9311
Pulaski County Southwest Clinic
Tuesday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Saline County - Benton

“I am now a mother to two beautiful breastfed children. I love educating pregnant women on the importance of breastfeeding and offering support to moms who are breastfeeding. I think it’s a beautiful, natural thing that creates a lasting bond between mommy and baby. My main goal is to empower women to make their own decisions and do what they know is best for their babies. Women were born to have babies and babies were born to breastfeed!”


Lena Strickland
Saline County  Health Unit:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. 

Sebastian County - Ft. Smith 

Stephanie is committed to the fact that her “entire job is to share with you what I learned while breastfeeding my own children and support you while you breastfeed.”

 Stephani Underwood

Stephani Underwood
Office 479-478-3063
Mobile 479-650-7402
Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Van Buren County

“I have breastfed all three of my children and experienced challenges along the way. I enjoy using my experience to help moms overcome their own breastfeeding barriers and reach their personal breastfeeding goals.”

Vanessa Martin
Van Buren County Health Unit
Monday - Wednesday 8:00a.m.-3:30p.m.

WIC Breastfeeding Helpline  

When you call the WIC Breastfeeding Helpline, you’ll be speaking to a highly knowledgeable and certified lactation consultant. Sandy has worked for the Arkansas Department of Health since 1993.  She earned her International Board Certified Lactation Consultant credentials in 1995 and keeps the certification up-to-date. She breastfed her two children and now has five grandchildren who have experienced the same strong bond with their mothers.  “I enjoy talking to breastfeeding mothers on the phone,” Sandy says. Give her a call on the helpline:  1-800-445-6175.

 Sandy Bankson

Sandy Bankson
Helpline 800-445-6175
Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.