Through her work as one of just five educators selected nationally as a prestigious Macy Faculty Scholar, Associate Nursing Professor Dr. Jessica Devido is developing and will launch a Maternal Child Health Equity Fellowship for prelicensure nursing students at Duquesne University.

Designed to identify and nurture the careers of promising mid-career educational innovators in medicine and nursing, the two-year Macy Faculty Scholars program aims to develop the next generation of national leaders in these fields.

Devido conceived the fellowship as part of the Macy Faculty Scholar application process-candidates were asked to share details of a new educational innovation project they were proposing to develop and implement at their institution.

"With this fellowship, we really want to be innovative and teach our nursing students how to build authentic relationships with the community, to learn from its leaders and all stakeholders how to work for safe motherhood and collective change," Devido explained. "We want our students to develop critical understanding of the maternal-child health inequities, learn how to listen to mothers of color in new and different ways, as they are the first point of contact. Our nursing students bring passion to their studies. They are important change agents for the future."

Devido and her fellow Macy Faculty Scholars cohort members were chosen from a national applicant pool of 82 medical and nursing educators. She is the School of Nursing's first faculty member to be selected for the program.

A committed professional and teacher-scholar, Devido's curiosity and drive foster her research and creativity, and have made her classroom a valuable learning environment for her students.

"I love being a nurse. I love the positive impact that nurses have on the lives of others, and that extends to my students," Devido said. "And I am committed to immersing my students in the imperative nature of working alongside communities and training them to be impassioned to deliver viable clinical solutions that are going to get at serving vulnerable populations and-in this case-solutions specifically for maternal child health equity."

Devido, who first joined the School of Nursing faculty in 2014, has been greatly impacted and motivated by her experience as a bedside labor-and-delivery nurse.

"I've had the privilege of assisting many women through the birth process. Many of those deliveries were beautiful moments," Devido said. "But it's the ones that left moms and infants on the brink of dying that really stick with me. All too often, those deliveries were to women of color, and these experiences were traumatic for them, their support individuals and for me, their nurse. It was these experiences that first cultivated a passion in me to do better for women."

Macy Faculty Scholars receive salary support up to $100,000 per year over two years to implement an educational change project in their institution and to participate in a program of career development activities. In addition, the scholars receive mentoring and career advice from the Foundation's National Advisory Committee.

"I'm very excited for the possibilities of how we might be able to impact some of the disparities that are occurring related to maternal child health here in the Pittsburgh area, hopefully changing the experience and the viewpoints of our students to better serve their patients," said Devido.

"The faculty and I are extremely proud of Dr. Devido, who joins a select group of innovators and leaders in medicine and nursing," said Nursing Dean Dr. Mary Ellen Glasgow. "I know she will benefit from superb networking opportunities and training that the Josiah Macy Scholars Program will provide."

About the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation

Since 1930, the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation has worked to improve health care in the United States. Founded by Kate Macy Ladd in memory of her father, prominent businessman Josiah Macy Jr., the Foundation supports projects that broaden and improve health professions education. It is the only national foundation solely dedicated to this mission. Visit the Macy Foundation's website at and follow them on Twitter at @macyfoundation.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 8,000 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim.

It's time for bigger goals
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July 14, 2021