Nursing Professor Receives Marcé Medal for Perinatal Mental Health Research

A portrait of distinguished professor Cheryl Beck.
Distinguished professor Cheryl Tatano Beck is just the fifth American and second nurse researcher to win the Marcé Medal from the International Marcé Society for Perinatal Mental Health. (Submitted photo)

Board of Trustees distinguished professor Cheryl Tatano Beck has received the prestigious Marcé Medal, becoming just the fifth American and second nurse researcher to win the award from the International Marcé Society for Perinatal Mental Health.

The Marcé Society is dedicated to supporting research and assistance surrounding prenatal and postpartum mental health for mothers, fathers, and their babies. The mission of the Society is to sustain an international perinatal mental health community to promote research and high-quality clinical care around the world.

The highest award the Society can bestow is the Marcé Medal, which is awarded every two years to an individual in recognition of major achievements and commitment to research in the field of perinatal mental health in women.

“Cheryl is a pioneer in the field of traumatic birth research,” says School of Nursing Dean Deborah Chyun. “Her work shines a light on the struggles mothers endure before, during, and after giving birth, and how those experiences affect their lives going forward. We are grateful to have Cheryl as a member of our faculty and congratulate her on receiving the Marcé Medal.”

Beck learned earlier this year that she would be receiving the award but was officially recognized by the Marcé Society on Tuesday.

“I am extremely grateful to the International Marcé Society for awarding this prestigious medal to me in recognition of my program of research,” Beck says. “I would not be receiving this award if it were not for the courageous women who have participated in my research studies over the years and shared their experiences with devastating mood and anxiety disorders following childbirth.”

A world-renowned qualitative and mixed-methods nurse researcher, Beck has literally written the book (or more accurately books) on conducting research, as well as indispensable textbooks in multiple editions.

Her research focuses on women’s perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, including postpartum depression; post-traumatic stress disorder due to traumatic childbirth; and secondary traumatic stress in labor and delivery nurses, certified nurse-midwives, and neonatal nurses. She has also conducted research on post-traumatic growth, which is the positive impact a traumatic experience can have on women who have had traumatic births.

Not one to rest on laurels, Beck has recently turned her attention to the latest struggle a lot of new mothers are facing: giving birth during a pandemic. She is currently conducting a mixed-methods study with Deepika Goyal, an OB/GYN nurse practitioner and professor at San José State University, on women’s experiences giving birth amid COVID-19. She is also conducting a second study on women’s childbirth experiences in Brazil during the pandemic, with Erika de Sá Vieira Abuchaim of the University of São Paulo School of Nursing.

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