Ph.D., NNP, FAAN
Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs; Dir. of Infant Research, Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute
Ashley Darcy-Mahoney, Ph.D., NNP, FAAN, is a dedicated neonatal nurse practitioner, researcher, and educator. Throughout her career, she has been at the forefront of advancing nursing research, education, and practice, with a specific focus on neonatology, infant health, and developmental pediatrics. Her unwavering commitment to improving the lives of at-risk and preterm infants has led to the development of groundbreaking programs that enhance their health and developmental outcomes.
Currently holding the position of professor of nursing and senior associate dean for faculty affairs, Dr. Darcy-Mahoney is actively pushing the boundaries of research in infant health and developmental outcomes for high-risk infants. Her primary focus lies in understanding the early brain and development trajectories of this vulnerable population. Her program of research aims to enhance early childhood outcomes, particularly through language interventions to promote future literacy and cognitive development. She played a key role in the conceptualization and launch of "Talk With Me Baby" and "Háblame Bebé" programs, which utilize nurses to empower parents with knowledge about the critical role of early language exposure in predicting academic success. These collaborative initiatives utilizes the nursing workforce to educate parents on the critical importance of early communication and engagement with their infants.
Háblame Bebé" is a groundbreaking childhood language development app designed for bilingual parents, primarily Spanish speakers, aiming to foster meaningful interactions with their children.
In 2020, Dr. Darcy-Mahoney served as the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Distinguished Nurse Scholar-in-Residence, where she played a vital role in the development of the Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity. The Scholar-in-Residence program ensures the inclusion of nursing perspectives in national health policy discussions, aligning with NAM's mission to provide evidence-based solutions and shape policies to address social determinants of health and promote public health.
Dr. Darcy-Mahoney's exceptional contributions to the field have been recognized through various accolades and grants. She was a RobertWood Johnson (RWJ) Nurse Faculty Scholar in 2014 and earned fellowship in the American Academy of Nurses in 2015. She has the distinction of being a 2017 Josiah Macy Scholar, and recognition as a rising star by Modern Healthcare in 2018. Furthermore, she has received esteemed awards, including the 2014 March of Dimes Nurse of the Year, the Florida Association of Neonatal Nurses President's Award, and the Lillian Sholtis Brunner Award for Innovation from her alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania.