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September 29, 2008

Paula Meier, DNSc, RN, FAAN, is director for clinical research and lactation in the Special Care Nursery (SCN), and a professor of maternal child nursing at Rush University Medical Center. Meier's area of research is short and long-term outcomes of mothers' milk and breastfeeding for very low birthweight (VLBW; <1500g) infants. Her work includes 17 funded research projects, over 60 peer-reviewed publications, and five book chapters related to this topic. Meier has also authored numerous parent education booklets and Web pages—all focused on breastfeeding for premature and SCN infants.

Meier's Rush Mothers' Milk Club model of evidence-based lactation interventions, which she developed and implemented in the Rush Special Care Nursery, has received national and international acclaim. Recognized for its special effectiveness with low income and African-American mothers of VLBW infants, the program provides women and their SCN infants with cutting-edge lactation services. At the same time, the program affords Meier and her colleagues a unique opportunity to study many clinical lactation and human milk feeding issues for this population. Undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of disciplines participate in several ongoing clinical trials.

Photo caption: Paula Meier, DNSc, RN, FAAN, Director, Clinical Research and Lactation, and Professor in the Department of Women, Children & Family Nursing.

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