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Release Date: 04/13/2015

Rosemarie Bigsby, ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA, has been elected as a recipient of the National Association of Neonatal Therapists (NANT) for the inaugural Pioneer Award for Neonatal Therapy. Bigsby is a clinical professor of pediatrics, psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and coordinator of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) services at the Brown Center for the Study of Children at Risk/Center for Children and Families of Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, a Care New England hospital. Bigsby was honored with the award at the 5th Annual NANT Conference this month in Phoenix, AZ.

The Pioneer Award was created to honor neonatal occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech-language pathologists who contribute tirelessly to establish and advance the specialized field of neonatal therapy. This inaugural presentation of the award reflects decades of largely unrecognized work by those who established the art and science of neonatal therapy.

Bigsby is a pediatric occupational therapist with a career-long interest in infant development. Her current focus is on improving outcomes for infants in the NICU, through developmental assessment, interventions and developing an interdisciplinary approach to initiating and progressing breast and bottle feeding. Bigsby received her bachelors of science in occupational therapy and biology at Western Michigan, her masters degree in advanced pediatric practice and occupational therapy education and her doctor of science in therapeutic studies at Boston University.

Bigsby has also been a recipient of the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Service Award and the Service Commendation for her authorship of “Specialized knowledge and skills for occupational therapy practice in the neonatal intensive care unit.” She also is a co-investigator and co-author of a recent report documenting the benefits of single family room model of care for NICU patients that was covered by the New York Times, National Public Radio, Reuters and other new outlets at the national level.

About the National Association of Neonatal Therapists
The National Association of Neonatal Therapists (NANT) is an organization created specifically for neonatal occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech-language pathologists. NANT provides multiple ways for neonatal therapists to connect, learn, mentor and inspire while advancing this focused field of therapy on a national level.

About Women & Infants Hospital

Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, a Care New England hospital, is one of the nation’s leading specialty hospitals for women and newborns. A major teaching affiliate of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University for obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics, as well as a number of specialized programs in women’s medicine, Women & Infants is the 12th largest stand-alone obstetrical service in the country and the largest in New England with approximately 8,500 deliveries per year. A Designated Baby-Friendly® USA hospital, U.S.News & World Report 2014-15 Best Children’s Hospital in Neonatology and a 2014 Leapfrog Top Hospital, in 2009 Women & Infants opened what was at the time the country’s largest, single-family room neonatal intensive care unit.

Women & Infants and Brown offer fellowship programs in gynecologic oncology, maternal-fetal medicine, urogynecology and reconstructive pelvic surgery, neonatal-perinatal medicine, pediatric and perinatal pathology, gynecologic pathology and cytopathology, and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. It is home to the nation’s first mother-baby perinatal psychiatric partial hospital, as well as the nation’s only fellowship program in obstetric medicine.

Women & Infants has been designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiography; a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology; a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence by the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and a Neonatal Resource Services Center of Excellence. It is one of the largest and most prestigious research facilities in high risk and normal obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics in the nation, and is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Gynecologic Oncology Group and the Pelvic Floor Disorders Network.
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