Nursing alumna Brittany Stroud (B.S. ’13/N) is a registered nurse making positive strides working with inmates to identify pregnancies and assist with prenatal care. Her work is part of the Healthy Beginnings Project at the College of William and Mary. This program is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and aims to help women have healthier pregnancies and babies while incarcerated. Stroud is working with a team of professionals, educators, medical personnel, and students who provide pregnancy tests, support, and prenatal vitamins to women who enter those facilities.

According to the principle investigator, Danielle Dallaire, Ph.D., associate professor at the College of William and Mary, and the co-principal investigator, Catherine Forestell, Ph.D., associate professor at the College of William and Mary, the program is taking off with Stroud’s help and her work is allowing important data to be collected during this process.

A forum to discuss the results of the practice was recently held at the College of William and Mary. The grant has been successful at documenting a positive impact for mothers who have participated with infant weight, maternal depression, and nutrition knowledge.

Stroud and Susan L. Lindner, M.S.N., RNC, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Health Nursing, have spoken at length about the potential of VCU School of Nursing doulas working at local correctional facilitates in a similar program with incarcerated mothers.

Stroud has a history of volunteer work as a doula for underserved women in Richmond. In May she was awarded the Mabel Montgomery Award at the VCU School of Nursing’s 2013 Spring Recognition Ceremony. This award is given in recognition of the retirement of Miss Mabel E. Montgomery who served as treasurer for the State Board of Nursing Examiners from 1948 to 1971. The award acknowledges a candidate who shows excellence in clinical nursing as evidenced by independent and rational judgment, a high level of interpersonal and technical skills, a high level of nursing knowledge, impetus for positive change, and professional responsibility.

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