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Dr. Sunny Hallowell shares expertise as researcher and policy scholar


Sunny Hallowell, PhD, PPCNP-BC, IBCLC, assistant professor, presented “The Associations Between the Nurse Work Environment Breastfeeding Support and Human Milk Provision in the NICU” at the 2015 The Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing Emerging Scholars Forum in Ontario on October 26.  Her research has been inspired by more than 15 years of clinical experience in pediatrics and perinatal care where Dr. Hallowell has practiced as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse (NICU) and Lactation Consultant. Dr. Hallowell is well published both nationally and internationally on the subjects of the NICU work environment, breastfeeding of preterm infants, and preterm infant outcomes. She proudly leads the clinical and health policy initiatives of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners in the Pennsylvania-Delaware valley region as the President of PA-DE Valley chapter of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP).

Dr. Sunny Hallowell (center,front row, in grey dress) was among an invitation-only group of nurses presenting at the Bloomberg Emerging Scholars Forum in Ontario.

The forum was an invitation-only event that supports early career development and international networking of emerging nursing scholars who are embarking on a research career. Applications are invited from Canadian,  American and international Registered Nurses or Nurse Practitioners who are near completion or have recently completed a PhD in nursing; or who currently hold or have recently completed a post-doctoral fellowship (within the past year). As its website says “The Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing is widely recognized as a research-intensive environment that promotes education and scholarship in nursing.”

Dr. Hallowell found the experience a positive one, noting “The opportunity to share ideas and science with group of new and emerging scholars was exhilarating! Across the globe, nurses are generating science to improve health care across the life spectrum, in every home, health setting and community.  It was a thrill to contribute to this exchange of knowledge and learn from the rich diversity of scientific work presented.” 

At the Academy's Jonas Policy Scholar gathering, were, from L to R, Jiayun Xu (John Hopkins PhD student, Jonas Policy Scholar Health Behavior Expert Panel, 2015), Teresa Hagan (Univ. of Pittsburgh PhD student, Jonas Policy Scholar,Women¹s Health EP 2015), Christopher VanFosson (Univ. of Texas at Austin PhD student, Jonas Policy Scholar- Quality Health Care EP, 2015), Diana Mason (President of AAN), Dr. Sunny Hallowell (Jonas Policy Scholar - Breastfeeding EP, 2014), Billy Caceres (NYU PhD student, Jonas Policy Scholar- Aging EP, 2015), Alicia Rossiter (Univ. of South Florida, Jonas Policy Scholar - Military/Veterans Health EP, 2014).

Earlier in October, Dr. Hallowell participated in the activities of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) in Washington DC in fulfillment of her role as a Jonas Policy Scholar. In 2014, the Academy created the Jonas Health Policy Scholar program and selected six scholars from the entire country to serve on one of six selected Expert Panels.  These working groups of the AAN make recommendations on future initiatives to transform health policy and practice.  Dr. Hallowell is a Scholar from the inaugural 2014 cohort and serves on the American Academy of Nursing Expert Panel on Breastfeeding.  The program creates “a pipeline of early-career nursing scholars who will contribute to shaping practice, education, and research policy relevant to nursing and the work of the Academy of Nursing; provide a mechanism for Academy expert panel leaders to mentor early-career Jonas Policy Scholars on key issues relevant to the panel’s area of focus and strategies for shaping those policies; and support expert panel chairs in advancing work to inform and shape policy and improve the health of the public.”  The program is funded with the support of the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare. 

As Dr. Hallowell states in a testimonial on the AAN website, “Providing human milk and breastfeeding are among the leading national public health concerns.  I am honored to be selected as the American Academy of Nursing Jonas Health Policy Scholar for the Expert Panel on Breastfeeding.  It is a privilege to learn from and participate in the work of national leaders dedicated to the innovation, research, education and development of policy regarding the use of human milk and breastfeeding."

This year, six more scholars were added to the program and were welcomed by Dr. Hallowell and her fellow 2014 Scholars.