Four Outstanding Nurses Recognized in 2011 for Their Dedication to Maternal and Infant Health

White Plains, New York | Thursday, June 2, 2011

Media Contacts

save print

Four exceptional registered nurses have been awarded scholarships by the March of Dimes for graduate studies in the field of maternal-child nursing, it was announced today.

These nurses are passionate about nursing and work tirelessly to improve maternal and infant health, the March of Dimes says.

“The March of Dimes is committed to preventing premature births and birth defects globally. This year’s recipients have made extraordinary efforts to improve the health of women and children around the world and we are proud to help them succeed and continue their nursing education,” said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes. “We hope these scholarships will help them achieve their goals of improving the health of women and babies.”

The March of Dimes Graduate Nursing Scholarship was founded in 1997 to recognize and promote excellence in the nursing care of mothers and babies. Recipients receive $5,000 to continue their graduate maternal-child nursing studies. The four scholarship winners for 2011 are:

  • Annie Rohan, MSN, RNC, NNP/PNP, of Stony Brook, New York who is pursuing a PhD in nursing from Columbia University in New York. Ms. Rohan is a neonatal nurse practitioner and a pediatric nurse practitioner. She is researching the effects of recurrent pain on the long-term development of premature infants who are cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit. This research will help to improve the lives of babies with life-threatening diseases. After graduation, Ms. Rohan plans to remain active as a clinician as well as seek an academic appointment.
  • Rachel Newhouse, RN, of Chicago, IL, who is seeking a graduate degree in nurse midwifery and women's health at the University of Illinois in Chicago. She also is taking courses to achieve certification as a forensic nurse to help women and children who are victims of abuse. Also, Ms. Newhouse has volunteered at a midwifery clinic in Haiti and at an orphanage in Armenia for children with special needs. She plans to remain in Chicago, working with underserved women.
  • Rebecca Pfender, RN, of Philadelphia, PA, who is pursuing a mater’s degree in nurse midwifery from the University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Pfender volunteers to help underserved populations and has worked with a team of health professionals in a women's health clinic in Senegal, West Africa. She also spent a year with AmeriCorps in Philadelphia educating women about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and with the Philadelphia Alliance for Labor Support doula program.
  • Julia Perkins, RN, of Baltimore, MD, who is pursuing a master’s degree in nurse midwifery from Shenandoah University and in advanced practice nursing with a women's health specialty from Johns Hopkins University. Ms. Perkins works as a nurse in the free community clinic in East Baltimore. She has volunteered as a doula in the Dominican Republic and has developed a collaborative doula program with the Juvenile Justice System and Johns Hopkins to support high-risk pregnant teens. Ms. Perkins also has volunteered at the Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda to support women during labor and birth as well as to promote breastfeeding.

Qualified applicants for the March of Dimes graduate nursing scholarships are registered nurses currently enrolled in a graduate program in maternal-child nursing at the master’s or doctorate level. Applicants must be a member of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, or the National Association of Neonatal Nurses. Applications for the 2012 scholarships will be available this fall on the March of Dimes website at, or by calling the March of Dimes at (914) 997-4609. Applications are due January 16, 2012.

About March of Dimes

March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family.

Visit or for more information. Visit for comfort and support. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.