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Release Date: 07/01/2014
Judith S. Mercer, CNM, PhD, FACNM, a research scientist at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, was recently honored by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) as the recipient of the Hattie Hemschemeyer Award, named in honor of ACNM’s first president and a pioneer of the profession. This is ACNM’s most prestigious award and is given annually to an ACNM member who has been certified for at least 10 years and has made continuous outstanding and/or historically significant contributions to midwifery, ACNM, and/or maternal child health.
An avid learner, Judith is a graduate from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing diploma program in 1962, the University of Maryland School of Nursing in 1973, Columbia University School of Nursing where she obtained a masters of science degree and certificate in midwifery in 1974, and the Catholic University of America where she obtained her PhD in 1989.

Judith has spent the last 40 years as a midwife – working in the name of midwifery while continuously focusing on the baby's perspective at birth. She began her career at Booth Maternity Center in Philadelphia where she worked as a clinician and educator followed by 15 years of teaching midwifery at Georgetown University, the last 10 of these years as program director. In addition to Georgetown, she has held academic appointments at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and is currently professor emerita at the University of Rhode Island and adjunct professor of pediatrics at The Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University.

Always a committed member of ACNM, she has served on numerous committees. Judith was inducted into the ACNM fellowship in 1994 and has received ACNM’s Faculty Excellence Award. She is currently one of the world’s leading researchers on delayed cord clamping. Judith has received three research grants from the National Institutes of Health for her study of the effects of delayed cord clamping on preterm and term infants. She has published in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, and numerous other publications in addition to giving many presentations all over the world.
About the American College of Nurse-Midwives
The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) is the professional association that represents certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs) in the United States. With roots dating to 1929, ACNM sets the standard for excellence in midwifery education and practice in the United States and strengthens the capacity of midwives in developing countries. Our members are primary care providers for women throughout the lifespan, with a special emphasis on pregnancy, childbirth, and gynecologic and reproductive health. ACNM reviews research, administers and promotes continuing education programs, and works with organizations, state and federal agencies, and members of Congress to advance the well-being of women and infants through the practice of midwifery. More information about ACNM can be found at

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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 9th 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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