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Nursing professor wins prestigious research award

July 24, 2009

KALAMAZOO--A Western Michigan University nursing professor has won an important research award from the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses.

Dr. Mary Ann Stark, associate professor of nursing, was presented with the association's Hill-Rom/Celeste Phillips Family-Centered Maternity Care Research Award for her current study titled "Physiologic and Psychological Effects of Therapeutic Showering in Labor." The award was presented at AWHONN's national convention in San Diego, Calif.

In addition to being a professor in the WMU Bronson School of Nursing, Stark is a nurse volunteer in the Pregnancy Care Clinic, also in Kalamazoo. She has been published widely on a variety of topics, including normal birth and the use of hydrotherapy in labor. Stark also has served as a reviewer of the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecological and Neonatal Nursing.

"Dr. Stark's continued exploration of family-centered childbirth brings innovative care options to nurses and the families we serve," says AWHONN Executive Director Dr. Karen Peddicord. "We are grateful for Hill-Rom's continued support in presenting this award to Dr. Stark."

The award is named for Celeste R. Phillips, an internationally recognized leader and expert in family-centered maternity care and proponent of the philosophy that the child-bearing process belongs with the family. Phillips worked extensively to introduce the Single-Room Maternity Care Concept to hospitals and physicians throughout the United States.

The Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses is the foremost nursing authority that advances the health care of women and newborns through advocacy, research and the creation of high quality, evidence-based standards of care. Its 23,000 members worldwide are clinicians, educators and executives who serve as patient care advocates focusing on the needs of women and infants.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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