Nurse-Midwifery and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Leaders Receive Recognitions

Left to right are Professor Melicia Escobar and Professor Heather Bradford in separate portrait-style photos on a blue background.
Left to right: Professor Melicia Escobar and Professor Heather Bradford

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May 26, 2021 – Professor Heather Bradford and Professor Melicia Escobar (NHS’04, DNP’22), leaders in the Nurse-Midwifery/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and WHNP Programs, have recently received various recognitions to support their work. 

Bradford, assistant program director, and Escobar, clinical faculty director, were recognized at the annual meeting of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) with the March of Dimes’ Graduate Nursing Scholarship Award. 

The $5,000 award will support Bradford’s PhD work at Vanderbilt University and Escobar’s DNP work at Georgetown.

“I am truly honored and humbled to receive this award,” Bradford said. “I look forward to examining why laboring patients in higher body weights are more likely to birth via cesarean section, focusing on birth attendants’ weight bias.”

‘A Powerful Vehicle’

Escobar added she is honored for the organization’s recognition of her work as an educator who teaches care of the whole person and advocacy for health equity.

“The March of Dimes has been committed to targeted prevention in the service of pregnant people and their babies, partnering with health care providers, researchers, and advocating to make remarkable and lasting change,” she said. “There is much alignment with my work. With racism emerging in the public eye as one of the root causes of maternal mortality and morbidity, I see [the organization] as a powerful vehicle for influencing the health care landscape by amplifying work such as mine.”    

(Learn more about Escobar becoming a fellow of the American College of Nurse-Midwives this year.)

Other Important Recognitions

In addition to the March of Dimes funding, Bradford has also recently received – to support her PhD research – $1,500 through the Psi-at-large chapter of Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Scholarship and $2,500 via the ACNM Foundation Dianne S. Moore Midwifery Research Scholarship.

Additionally, Bradford was named one of six Academy Jonas Policy Scholars Program by the American Academy of Nursing and Jonas Nursing and Veterans Healthcare.

“I am truly honored and humbled to be selected for the Academy Jonas Policy Scholars Program,” Bradford said. “I look forward to learning through mentorship and engagement with AAN leaders about opportunities to inform and shape maternal child health policy, advance health equity, and improve birth outcomes for pregnant persons.”

By Bill Cessato