My interest in research, particularly in women’s health and midwifery, began at the University of Michigan while pursuing a Bachelors degree in Nursing. My interest in women’s health and childbirth rests on the significant lack of research-based care practices and a belief in the physiologic approach to childbirth for healthy women. At the University of Illinois-Chicago, I earned a Masters degree and became a Certified Nurse Midwife. I have practiced for 11 years performing outpatient women’s health care and attending birth for women with high and low risk pregnancies. I developed an interest in the behavioral neuroscience of oxytocin while practicing and attended a graduate program in neuroscience in Chicago as well. After moving to Oregon, I resumed both my clinical practice and research study in a PhD program at Oregon Health & Science University. Now in my dissertation phase, I am exploring the bio-behavioral effects of oxytocin on lactation and breastfeeding. My study examines oxytocin both naturally released by birthing women/ lactating mothers as well as that given as a pharmaceutical treatment during childbirth. I am a member of the American College of Nurse Midwives and have served the local chapter as Secretary in the past. During my neuroscience graduate program I received a pre-doctoral research fellowship from the NIH. Currently, I serve the School of Nursing on the faculty Research Council and the PhD Curriculum Committee. I am fortunate to have received several scholarships and awards throughout my academic career and am honored to be Jonas Scholar.
Research/Clinical Practice Area: Jonas Veterans Healthcare – Women’s and Children’s Health
Dissertation: Bio-behavioral Lactation Outcomes Following Oxytocin Administration During Parturition