WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Salina Regional Health Center (SRHC) is opening a Breast Milk Depot.

According to the SRHC, they are the first Kansas hospital to partner with Oklahoma Mothers’ Milk Bank, which will collect and distributes the donated breastmilk across Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas.

The Breast Milk Depot will be a place where nursing mothers can donate any extra milk they produce to help nurture premature or critically ill babies.

The new Depot, located inside the main lobby of the SRHC, 400 S Santa Fe Ave, will start accepting frozen breastmilk on Thursday, Oct. 13.

It has a freezer that will keep the milk frozen below 32 Degrees Fahrenheit.

According to the SRHC, breast milk will be picked up every two months, or sooner, by the Oklahoma Mothers’ Milk Bank.

The breastmilk will be pasteurized using the Holder Method. According to Oklahoma Mothers’ Milk Bank, the Holder method “is a process of heating milk to 62.5° C for 30 minutes in a shaking water bath. The processed milk is then rapidly cooled, frozen, and stored at or below -20°. Milk is only dispensed if the post-pasteurization microorganism testing reveals no contamination. Our strict pasteurization process follows the guidelines set forth by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America.”

The SRHC says after the pasteurization process, the milk is bottled and kept frozen with dry ice in an insulated box that is shipped to hospitals with tamper-evident tape.

Mothers who are interested in donating milk will have to be approved. To get approved, click here to fill out the required paperwork.

All donors will be tested for HIV, HTLV, syphilis, hepatitis B and hepatitis C before being able to donate.

Once approved, the SRHC says donors will receive pumping supplies and can set up a drop-off appointment by calling (785) 452-7474.

All milk bags must be labeled with the donor number and cannot be frozen for longer than six months.