School of nursing

Helen Varney Professor of Midwifery named

Holly Powell Kennedy has been named the inaugural Helen Varney Professor of Midwifery at the School of Nursing. Her appointment will begin on July 1.

Kennedy's research focuses on the relationship between the work of midwives and the positive outcomes of midwife-attended births. She intends to explore this relationship as part of her future work at Yale. Kennedy recently became the president-elect of the American College of Nurse-Midwives and is the co-chair of the International Confederation of Midwives research standing committee, which connects midwife researchers around the world. As a 2008 Fulbright Distinguished Scholar, Kennedy also conducted research on England's national commitment to normal birth. Currently on the faculty at the UCSF School of Nursing, Kennedy received her certificate in nurse-midwifery from the Frontier School of Midwifery & Family Nursing in 1985 and her PhD from the University of Rhode Island in 1999. She is also a retired colonel of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps Reserve, with 31 years of service.

"YSN has been a leader in midwifery education for nurses for over five decades, and I am delighted that we have been successful in recruiting Holly Powell Kennedy to Yale," said Margaret Grey, dean and Annie Goodrich Professor at YSN.

Panel addresses Latin American issues

The Yale Center for International Nursing Scholarship and Education hosted a panel discussion on Latin America in February, with speakers Felix Maradiaga, 2008 Yale World Fellow and former Nicaraguan defense secretary; Enrique Mayer, Yale professor of anthropology and an expert in Andean agriculture and peasantries; and John Powers, YSN director of public affairs and mission team director in La Romana, Dominican Republic.

The three panelists emphasized the connections between ethnicity and poverty in Latin America. Mayer described the history of indigenous peoples' struggles to preserve their culture and gain political autonomy. Maradiaga recounted leaving Nicaragua for the United States by himself at age 13 to avoid forced military service -- a fate typical of indigenous children. Powers described the primitive living conditions of Haitians working in Dominican sugar cane plantations. The audience prompted a discussion about the best ways to help people in need without creating new problems, and later bid on Nicaraguan crafts to raise funds for health care in that country.

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