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Denise McLaughlin receives national nurse-midwifery recognition

Denise McLaughlin, a longtime instructor in Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and leader of Emory's Nurse-Midwifery Program, received the 2016 Distinguished Service Award from the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM).

Denise McLaughlin received the 2016 Distinguished Service Award from the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM). This award is in recognition of McLaughlin’s more than 40 years of service as a practicing midwife, a practice director, a preceptor and a mentor to countless midwives. The award was presented at the ACNM Annual Meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on May 23.

For more than 40 years, McLaughlin has served as an adjunct instructor in Emory's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. She is the leader of Emory’s Nurse-Midwifery Education Program, based at Grady Healthy System in Atlanta.

McLaughlin has served as an ACNM Fellow since 2012. This is an honor bestowed upon those midwives whose demonstrated leadership, clinical excellence, outstanding scholarship and professional achievement have merited special recognition both within and outside of the midwifery profession.

“I have been fortunate to be the fifth director of this prestigious group [Emory’s Nurse-Midwifery Education Program] that has mentored nurse-midwifery and medical students and worked collegially with Emory GYN-OB residents for 46 years,” McLaughlin says. “My awards are a direct result of the opportunities Emory has given me.”

McLaughlin’s unwavering commitment to her practice and patients is credited with saving the nurse-midwifery service at Grady during times of financial constraint. Through her service to organizations ranging from the March of Dimes and Planned Parenthood to the Georgia Board of Nursing Advisory Council, she has positively impacted the health of women and children in Atlanta and beyond.

Her work spans international borders, as she played a critical role in improving maternal and perinatal health in rural areas of Mwanza, Tanzania. McLaughlin is not only a leader in the field, but she has ensured the growth of the profession by mentoring and inspiring many future generations of nurse midwives. She retired at the end of May.

ACNM is the professional association that represents certified nurse-midwives and certified midwives in the United States. With roots dating to 1929, ACNM sets the standard for excellence in midwifery education and practice in the U.S. and strengthens the capacity of midwives in developing countries.

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