The University of Rhode Island (URI) recently recognized College of Nursing Associate Professor Deb Erickson-Owens, who was named Nurse Midwife of the Year by Rhode Island Monthly and the Rhode Island State Nurses Association in the Excellence in Nursing awards.
“It blew me away that it was the first time
midwives were nominated and that I was selected out of a pool of so many who
should be honored,” Erickson-Owens said.
Throughout her career, Erickson-Owens
helped bring 1,400 babies into the world, serving for 20 years as an Air Force
nurse and midwife and only closing her own practice in 2014. During her time in
the military, where she achieved the rank of colonel, Erickson-Owens led the
obstetrical department at the Air Force Academy hospital, located in Colorado
Springs, Colorado, and was the Air Force surgeon general’s midwifery
Now working in academia, Erickson-Owens is
deeply involved in researching umbilical cord clamping with URI Professor
Emeritus Judith Mercer and colleagues from Brown University.
“It’s amazing when women in their 80s and
90s can recount their birth experiences: the vividness of the experience…it can
be a time when a woman really discovers herself and her strength,” Erickson-Owens said. “Midwives are there to help them and be a partner
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