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March Of Dimes Awards Scholarships to Exceptional Nursing Students Committed to Improving...

March Of Dimes Awards Scholarships to Exceptional Nursing Students Committed to Improving Health Outcomes for Mom and Baby


ARLINGTON, Va., June 13, 2024 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — March of Dimes, the leading nonprofit fighting for the health of all families, has awarded its 2024 March of Dimes Nursing Scholarship Awards to two outstanding nurses for their undergraduate and graduate studies. Established in 1998, the award recognizes and promotes excellence in nursing and furthers the organization’s commitment to closing the health equity gap and ensuring all moms and babies receive the highest quality of medical care. Both winners will receive a $10,000 scholarship supported this year by Pampers®, a March of Dimes partner for more than 25 years.

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“We know that the maternal and infant health crisis is far from over, especially for moms and babies of color who face greater risks of poor health outcomes” said Kelly Ernst, SVP, Chief Revenue and Impact Officer at March of Dimes. “We need nurses in communities across the US dedicated to maternal-child nursing to help all moms and babies be healthy. It’s our privilege and honor to invest in these extraordinary nurses who share our mission.”

In 2024, the US remains among the most dangerous places to give birth, with maternal mortality rates up to six times higher than those of other developed nations. Black moms are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than White moms, and Black babies are two times more likely to die before their first birthdays than White babies. As a leading convener in maternal and infant health, March of Dimes has partnered with Pampers to help drive systemic change so that all families, regardless of race, can get the best possible start.

“These scholarships spotlight the importance of maternal health equity and promote excellence in nursing care,” said P&G Baby Care North America Communications Leader, Jazmyne Reid. “Pampers’ brand purpose is to care for every baby’s health and happiness. We cannot fully live out our brand purpose without first addressing the foundation—a healthy and happy parent. We are proud to partner with March of Dimes to empower nurses who are on a mission to deliver compassionate care and help more parents experience the full joy of pregnancy and beyond.”

The March of Dimes Nursing Scholarships are awarded to highest scoring scholarship applicants demonstrating a commitment to March of Dimes’ mission. Qualified applicants for the Margaret Comerford Freda March of Dimes Graduate Nursing Scholarship are registered nurses currently enrolled in a graduate program in maternal-child nursing at the master’s or doctoral level. This award is named in honor of the long-time March of Dimes National Nurse Advisory Council Chair, volunteer, and friend, Dr. Margaret Comerford Freda. The Undergraduate Nursing Diversity Scholarship is awarded to an undergraduate at an accredited school of nursing, from a racial or ethnic group underrepresented among nurses.

The 2024 March of Dimes Scholarship Award recipients are:

Margaret Comerford Freda March of Dimes Graduate Nursing Scholarship Award:  Lisa Grisham, MSN, NNP, a DNP/PhD student at University of Arizona, Tucson

“My primary goal as a nurse clinician-scientist aligns with the March of Dimes goal of closing the health equity gap. Many infants with substance exposure in utero do not have a strong family presence in the hospital after birth. Some have no family presence. Babywearing is one ideal effective non-pharmacologic intervention used to treat infants with NAS, which can create a paradigm shift resulting in health equity for this underserved population. Babywearing is a low-cost, easy-to-use, nonpharmacologic intervention that facilitates contact and proximity to the caregiver to support caregiver-infant interaction and comfort. This scholarship will support my research on improving the care of hundreds of thousands of mothers and babies. Additionally, after graduating with my DNP/PhD degree, I will continue to do a portion of clinical bedside NNP shifts and teach at an accredited College of Nursing. I love the bedside interaction with neonates and their families, and I love mentoring and teaching.”

March of Dimes Undergraduate Nursing Diversity Scholarship: Kaitlyn Duardo, BSN student at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

“When I started my Women and Infant rotation this semester, the plethora of hospital resources was astounding, but the lack of Hispanic nurses on the floor stuck out to me most. I often spent my clinical shifts translating for nurses or physicians between patients because no one else spoke Spanish or the hospital translator was unavailable. Being a Miami native and volunteering in hospital settings, I was surrounded by Latinx nurses and never truly realized the lack of demand for Spanish-speaking qualifications outside of Miami. With a stark 5.6% of Latinx nurses in the work field, I aim to create awareness across America’s youth. As a future nurse, I will focus on helping my patients firsthand and building rapport rather than simply translating for them. The data calls for a rise in Hispanic nurses that can positively impact the patients’ experiences. I will also be in the position to demand policy change and ensure that every undocumented Hispanic person, or of another ethnic group, has the resources for a safe delivery in the United States.”

For more information on the Nursing Scholarship program, visit marchofdimes.org/nursingscholarships.


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 family can have the best possible start. Since 1938, we’ve built a successful legacy to support every pregnant person and every family. Visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org for more information.


For over 60 years, parents have trusted Pampers to care for their babies. Pampers is a part of The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) and is the #1-selling diaper worldwide. Every day, more than 25 million babies in 100 countries around the world wear Pampers. Pampers offers a complete range of diapers, wipes and training underwear designed to provide protection and comfort for every stage of a baby’s development. Visit www.pampers.com to learn more about Pampers products, join the Pampers Club program, and find ideas and information to help you and your baby ‘love the change’ together.

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SOURCE March of Dimes Inc.

March Of Dimes Awards Scholarships to Exceptional Nursing Students Committed to Improving Health Outcomes for Mom and Baby