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In Memoriam: Kathryn E. Barnard

AJN, American Journal of Nursing: August 2015 - Volume 115 - Issue 8 - p 65
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000470408.04919.46
In Memoriam: Kathryn E. Barnard
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Kathryn E. Barnard, PhD, RN, FAAN—a pioneering researcher in the field of infant mental health—died on June 27 at her home in Seattle, at the age of 77.

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Kathryn E. Barnard, PhD, RN, FAAN—a pioneering researcher in the field of infant mental health—died on June 27 at her home in Seattle, at the age of 77. Barnard was an influential educator whose finding that parent-child interaction is an important predictor of cognitive development helped shape public policy. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Barnard began her nursing career at the age of 16 and earned her bachelor of science in nursing in 1960 from the University of Nebraska and her master's degree from Boston University. In 1963, she was recruited by the University of Washington (UW), where in 1972 she earned her PhD in the ecology of early childhood development. She taught and worked at UW for more than 40 years until her retirement in 2006. There she conducted groundbreaking research on the beneficial impact of rocking and heartbeat sounds on infant growth and development. The rocking bed she developed for infants is now a standard in hospital nurseries and neonatal ICUs. Additional pioneering work by Barnard included the creation of parent–child interaction assessment scales and providing the foundation for Nursing Child Assessment Satellite Training (NCAST), an early form of distance learning. NCAST enabled Barnard to disseminate her research globally to infant mental health professionals and caregivers. She served on the board of directors of both the nonprofit ZERO TO THREE: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families and the World Association for Infant Mental Health. In 2012, the center Barnard established at the UW in 2001 was renamed the Barnard Center on Infant Mental Health and Development in her honor. For more on Barnard's legacy, read AJN’s 2002 profile at http://journals.lww.com/ajnonline/Fulltext/2002/06000/Rock_On.57.aspx.

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