UW News

October 15, 2002

UW’s Barnard receives national honor for work with infants

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences Monday (Oct. 14) presented this year’s Gustav O. Lienhard Award for the advancement of personal health services to two leaders in understanding infant development: Dr. Kathryn E. Barnard, founder and director of the Center for Infant Mental Health and Development at the University of Washington, and Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, president and chair of the Brazelton Foundation Inc. Barnard is only the fourth nurse to receive the Lienhard Award in its 17 year history.

Barnard is being honored for developing evidence-based assessment and parent education protocols that are used worldwide and have revolutionized clinical practice with infants and their parents, and for her international advocacy efforts that have led to changes in health policy that promote infant development. Brazelton is being honored for changing the world’s understanding of infant and child development over the last half-century through the publication of scholarly papers and more than 30 books, as well as the training of hundreds of pediatric fellows and residents, and the development of the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale.

During her distinguished career, Barnard, professor in the School of Nursing, has advocated policy changes to promote infant development and enhance the potential that someday every child will have the opportunity to grow up in a safe and nurturing environment. Thousands of nurses, physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, nutritionists, occupational therapists, early-childhood educators, and social workers now use Barnard’s concept of parent-child interaction and assessment methods as part of their daily practice. Most state departments of health either recommend or require that staff receive Nursing Child Assessment Satellite training, a revolutionary and internationally recognized program Barnard pioneered in 1976.

The culmination of her relentless efforts to make connections between academics, state policy leaders, innovative practitioners, the media, and parents was the opening of the Center on Infant Mental Health and Development (CIMHD), a partnership between the UW School of Nursing and the Center for Human Development and Disabilities.

Barnard received her basic nursing education at the University of Nebraska, a Master of Science in Nursing from Boston University, and a Ph.D. in ecology of early childhood development at the UW.

The Lienhard award includes a medal and a $25,000 prize. Given annually, the award recognizes outstanding national achievement in improving personal health care services in the United States. Nominees are eligible for consideration without regard to education or profession. Award recipients are selected by a committee of experts convened by the IOM.

Additional information about Barnard, Brazelton, and the Lienhard Award can be found at www.iom.edu/lienhard.