Better Care for Kids

GW faculty member selected for prestigious scholar program

Dr. Ashley Darcy-Mahoney has dedicated her career to exploring how social and environmental factors influence a child's health.
Dr. Ashley Darcy-Mahoney has dedicated her career to exploring how social and environmental factors influence a child's health.
January 09, 2018

A neonatal nurse practitioner, researcher, and educator, Dr. Darcy-Mahoney has dedicated her career to exploring how social and environmental factors influence a child’s health. This is particularly important for the 45 percent of all U.S. children who live in poverty, a key factor of children’s physical, educational, emotional, and social health.

At the GW School of Nursing, Dr. Darcy-Mahoney employs innovative teaching methods that empower aspiring pediatric clinicians to be effective health care leaders. And her work is getting noticed. In June, the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation—the only national foundation solely dedicated to improving the education of health professionals—selected Dr. Darcy-Mahoney as a Macy Faculty Scholar. Launched in 2010, this program aims to accelerate needed reforms in health professions education to accommodate the dramatic changes occurring in medical practice and health care delivery.

Macy Faculty Scholars receive $100,000 annually over two years to pursue mentored educational innovation projects. Dr. Darcy-Mahoney is leading an effort to develop, implement, and build the Pediatric Equity Scholars Program (PESP), which will teach medical and nursing students to identify and address the social determinants of pediatric health through interdisciplinary and experiential learning. PESP is housed within the multidisciplinary Health Workforce Institute at GW’s Milken Institute School of Public Health, and partners with GW’s School of Nursing, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute, as well as Children’s National Medical Center.

“The early detection and management of socioeconomic barriers is an important, emerging component of pediatric scope of practice for doctors, nurses, and nurse practitioners,” says Dr. Darcy-Mahoney. “The interdisciplinary program helps students recognize diverse social factors influencing health in children and identify potential roles that pediatric health professionals play to improve social conditions.”