Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital in Murfreesboro, part of Ascension Tennessee, has expanded its commitment to meeting the needs of Middle Tennessee’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit babies with the creation of a “milk depot,” allowing for safe processing of donor breast milk.

The milk bank was funded in part by the Saint Thomas Rutherford Foundation. All milk donors will be screened for a variety of communicable diseases. Until Ascension Saint Thomas achieves its goal of creating an on-site milk bank, milk collected at the Murfreesboro depot will be sent frozen to Texas for processing at Mothers’ Milk Bank Austin.

“Having a milk depot at the hospital brings us one step closer to having a donor milk bank in Middle Tennessee,” Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford NICU Director Dr. Asra Tanveer said. “The milk depot will provide so many benefits to premature and sick babies in our NICU.”