Newswise — PHILADELPHIA (March 29, 2017) – Barbara Medoff-Cooper, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor of Nursing in the Department of Family and Community Health at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) and the Ruth M. Colket Professor in Pediatric Nursing at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, will receive the 2017 Eastern Nursing Research Society’s Distinguished Contributions to Nursing Research Award at its annual conference in Philadelphia on April 7, 2017. The award is in recognition of sustained and outstanding contributions to nursing research by a Senior Investigator.

“It is a great honor to be recognized by the Nursing research community. My goal, and of course my passion, has always been to improve outcomes for vulnerable infants and their families,” said Medoff-Cooper. “I share this award with the many families who have participated in my research projects over the past 30 plus years.”

About Dr. Medoff-CooperDr. Medoff-Cooper’s pioneering research has focused on infant development, feeding behaviors in high-risk infants, and infant temperament. Her innovations, most notably the Early Infancy Temperament Questionnaire and the NeoNur device, have changed the way clinicians care for premature and chronically ill infants, resulting in improved infant development progress and ability to feed and grow.

With funding from the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), the Benjamin Franklin Partnership and professional organizations, Medoff-Cooper’s research has been recognized throughout the world for its impact on improving care of premature infants and infants born with complex congenital heart disease. The Early Infancy Temperament Questionnaire, introduced by Medoff-Cooper in the mid-1980s and copyrighted in 1990, helps parents and health care providers identify difficult babies and what factors may trigger excessive crying or sleeplessness. The questionnaire was the first assessment scale suited to infants younger than four months old. The NeoNur, which Medoff-Cooper developed with a colleague at the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and patented in 2013, is a feeding device used to assess newborn sucking strength, number of sucks, and pauses in sucking.

Medoff-Cooper concluded that these feeding behaviors correlate to brain development and can signal the risk of failure to thrive. The device helps health care professionals identify and treat infants with dysfunctional feeding patterns, a condition seen not only in premature infants but also in newborns with congenital heart defects. Her most recent research focused on infants with heart problems. In a recent study funded by the NINR, she reported that feeding issues in three-month-old infants with congenital heart defects are associated with poor neurological development at six and 12 months. With funding from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Medoff-Cooper continues to follow infants with heart issues in a study that incorporates virtual home care via computers.

Medoff-Cooper is a Member of the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame, a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, and a Clinical Nurse Scholar and Faculty Nurse Scholar at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She is the recipient of the Outstanding Nurse Research Award from the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science. Medoff-Cooper received her PhD from Temple University, her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Maryland, and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Trenton State College.

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Editor’s Note: For a high-resolution image of Dr. Medoff-Cooper, please contact Ed Federico in Penn Nursing’s Marketing & Communications Office.

About the University of Pennsylvania School of NursingThe University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing is one of the world’s leading schools of nursing. For the second year in a row, it is ranked the #1 nursing school in the world by QS University, and has four graduate programs ranked number one by U.S. News & World Report, the most of any school in the United States. Penn Nursing is consistently among the nation’s top recipients of nursing research funding from the National Institutes of Health. Penn Nursing prepares nurse scientists and nurse leaders to meet the health needs of a global society through research, education, and practice. Follow Penn Nursing on: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram & YouTube.