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MGH Institute of Health Professions’ Goodman Named Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ‘Nurse Faculty Scholar’


NEWS RELEASE                                                     Contact: Gretchen Wright or Johanna Diaz
September 24, 2009                                                                   202/371-1999
MGH Institute of Health Professions’ Goodman Named
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ‘Nurse Faculty Scholar’
Postpartum Depression Researcher Working with First Time Mothers is Selected for Prestigious Program to Advance Careers of Nation’s Most Promising Junior Nurse Faculty
BOSTON, MA—Janice Goodman, Ph.D, RN, Assistant Professor at MGH Institute of Health Professions School of Nursing, has won a competitive grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to conduct research on postpartum depression and mother/infant relationships. Goodman is one of just 15 nurse educators from around the country to receive the three-year $350,000 “Nurse Faculty Scholar” award this year. It is given to junior faculty who show outstanding promise as future leaders in academic nursing. The grant period begins this month.
“The generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will enable me to study interventions to promote the mental health, well-being, and optimal development of both mothers and infants,” Goodman said.
For her research, Goodman will provide early intervention to first time mothers who are at high risk of developing postpartum depression. Early intervention to encourage healthy mother/infant bonding will significantly reduce the onset of postpartum depression and the subsequent negative effects on child development. A key component of the research will include training maternal/child nurses to conduct the intervention to prevent depression and and strengthen mother/infant relationship bonds. Mothers and infants will be selected for the study from across the Boston metropolitan region.
Relationship building is critical to new moms and babies, and a vital step to ensuring a healthy start,” said Goodman. “Additionally, this nurse-delivered intervention for postpartum depression will highlight the role of nurses in providing readily accessible, cost-effective interventions and can have tremendous potential for wide-scale dissemination in nurse home-visiting programs to postpartum families, pediatric clinics and mental health settings.”  
Janis P. Bellack, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., President of MGH Institute of Health Professions, and Edward Z. Tronick, Ph.D., Director of the Child Development Unit at Children’s Hospital Boston, Distinguished Professor at University of Massachusetts, and lecturer at Harvard Medical School, will serve as Goodman’s mentors.
“Mother-infant relationship dysfunction is a serious negative consequence of postpartum depression that is not addressed in current PPD treatments,” Bellack said. “Janice Goodman’s unique research will examine a comprehensive intervention for postpartum depression addressing the needs of mothers and infants, which will lead to better outcomes for families overall.”
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s“Nurse Faculty Scholar” award aims to strengthen the academic productivity and overall excellence of nursing schools by developing the next generation of national leaders in academic nursing.
Supporting junior nurse faculty will help curb a severe shortage of nurse educators that threatens to undermine the health and health care of all Americans. Many nursing schools lack the resources needed to hire and support enough faculty to train the next generation of nurses. As a result, nursing schools are turning away thousands of qualified applicants—rejecting the very people who can help reverse a serious looming nurse shortage. As the supply of nurses shrinks and the demand for their services grows, patient care will suffer.
The Foundation’s “Nurse Faculty Scholars” program aims to curb the effects of the nursing shortage by helping more junior faculty succeed in, and commit to, academic careers. The program provides talented junior faculty with salary and research support as well as the chance to participate in institutional and national mentoring activities, leadership training, and networking events with colleagues in nursing and other fields, while continuing to teach and provide institutional, professional and community service in their universities.
The program will also enhance the stature of the scholars’ academic institutions, which will benefit fellow nurse educators seeking professional development opportunities.
To receive the award, scholars must be registered nurses who have completed a research doctorate in nursing or a related discipline and who have held a tenure-eligible faculty position at an accredited nursing school for at least two and no more than five years.
The program is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and administered through the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. It is directed by Jacquelyn Campbell, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., who is the Anna D. Wolf chair and professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.
To learn more about the program, visit
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The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, we work with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years we’ve brought experience, commitment and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those we serve. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, we expect to make a difference in your lifetime.
MGH Institute of Health Professions, founded by Massachusetts General Hospital in 1977, is an innovative and independent graduate school in Boston that operates within the frame­work of Partners HealthCare system. A progressive leader in developing compre­hensive models of health care education, the MGH Institute prepares advanced practice professionals in the fields of nursing, physical therapy, speech-language pathology, medical imaging, and clinical investigation through a distinctive combination of academic study, clinical practice, and research. More than 920 students are enrolled in graduate level and certificate programs, with an increasing number of courses available online. The Institute is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.