Professor Yvonne Hauck has been appointed as WA’s inaugural Professor of Midwifery – a joint partnership between King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEMH) and Curtin University.
The appointment will lead the way in practice-based midwifery research and innovation, guiding research that responds to the priorities of clinicians and academics which will ultimately improve maternity care for West Australian families.
Professor Hauck is an alumna of Curtin University having completed a Master of Science Nursing degree in 1992, she then went on to complete a Doctor of Philosophy (Nursing) in 2000 at Edith Cowan University.
The new appointee has worked in maternal and child health for more than three decades, driving research, education and practice in both Canada and Australia.
She has strong collaborative ties with the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Ngala (a provider of early parenting services), Family Planning WA and the North Metropolitan Area Health Service, Mental Health.
Professor Hauck is recognised as an international leader in the area of breastfeeding, having undertaken vital research in this field for more than 18 years.
Other recent research interests centre around maternal mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, parenting confidence and competence, and perinatal outcomes of women with serious mental illness.
Adjunct Associate Professor Graeme Boardley, Executive Director of Midwifery, Nursing and Patient Support Services, Women and Newborn Health Service at KEMH welcomed the appointment as a step forward in midwifery research.
“Professor Hauck’s appointment recognises the importance of midwifery and midwifery research in the maternity service provision. It is a fantastic opportunity to further develop midwifery research and improve health outcomes for women and newborn babies in Western Australia,” Associate Professor Boardley said.
Professor Hauck said she was honoured to be appointed to the role and was excited about the new partnership.
“Joint collaborations of this nature unite people who provide diverse yet complementary skills to guide essential research,” Professor Hauck said.
“I’m looking forward to supporting a research culture with midwives at all levels and working with a multidisciplinary team of maternity healthcare professionals whose goals are to improve and deliver quality care to mothers and their babies in Western Australia.”
The appointment cements Curtin’s leadership in midwifery research and education. Curtin established the first school of nursing and midwifery in a WA university, and was the first to offer a specialised Bachelor of Science Midwifery degree in the state, with its first group of students set to graduate in February.
Professor Hauck will take up her appointment on Monday 7 February 2011.