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Award of Excellence in Research for Spatz

The award – from the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics, and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) – recognizes members as exemplifying the highest standards of service to nursing.

Diane L. Spatz, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN, is a Professor of Perinatal Nursing & the Helen M. Shearer Professor of Nutrition at Penn Nursing, sharing a joint appointment as a nurse researcher and director of the lactation program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the clinical coordinator of the CHOP Mothers’ Milk Bank. In the university portion of her job, she teaches an entire semester course on breastfeeding and human lactation to undergraduate nursing students, and in the hospital portion of her job she developed the Breastfeeding Resource Nurse program.

“One of the most meaningful things about this award is that it not only recognizes my body of research contributions on human milk and breastfeeding since 1995 but also the students, nurses, physicians, and other health care providers who I have mentored along the way who have become passionate human milk advocates,” said Spatz.

Spatz is an active researcher, clinician, and educator who is internationally recognized for her work surrounding the use of human milk and breastfeeding particularly in vulnerable populations. She has been PI or co-investigator on over 40 research grants, included several from the NIH. She has authored and co-authored over 130 peer-reviewed publications and written numerous book chapters related to human milk and breastfeeding. Spatz has authored or co-authored position statements for the International Lactation Consultant Association, AWHONN, the Society of Pediatric Nurses (SPN), and the National Association of Neonatal Nurses. She has also written the clinical practice guidelines on human milk and breastfeeding for AWHONN and SPN as well as a technical brief for the USAID on human milk and breastfeeding in developing countries.

In 2004, Spatz develop her 10-step model for human milk and breastfeeding in vulnerable infants. This model has been implemented in NICUs throughout the United States and other countries worldwide (Thailand, India, China, Mexico, and Japan). She has been named a prestigious “Edge Runner” for the American Academy of Nursing related to the development and outcomes of her model.

This year 5 Awards of Excellence were awarded: Practice, Scholarly Education, Clinical Education, Leadership, and Research. Spatz was honored during the 50th Anniversary of AWHONN Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, which ran from June 8-12.