Full name and title: Stacy D. Scott, PhD, MPA, Senior Project Director
Years with NICHQ: 7 months as a project director; multiple years as an expert partner
How has your background/experiences led you to join a national children’s health organization?
I am a 30-year public health advocate and infant safe sleep expert with work ranging from the government agency level to ground zero, spearheading numerous community outreach programs nationwide to end health disparities and reduce the risk of sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUID). I founded the Global Infant Safe Sleep (GISS) Center in 2016, an organization with a mission to support vulnerable and marginalized global communities to reduce SUID. Its latest campaign, “Changing a Tradition, Changing a Position,” addresses grandparents and other caregivers, and the "Community of Committed Men," offers events and forums for men in the community. I ended my federal government consulting career in October 2017, after 20 years of working with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Now working with NICHQ, I'm provided with a wonderful opportunity to impact families and achieve better outcomes for all children. Recognizing the importance of being inclusive and striving for health equity, NICHQ’s mission is aligned with my passion for being a champion for social justice and an agent of positive change.
"Stacy brings her expertise and passion for health equity to every project she joins. She is an incredible leader and mentor who challenges her colleagues through support and encouragement,"
NICHQ Chief Operating Officer, Judi Gooding, MA
Favorite memory from a NICHQ project:
My favorite memory from a NICHQ project was being appointed chairman of the Wisdom Council of the National Action Partnership to Promote Safe Sleep (NAPPS-IIN) and later accepting a position as one of the project directors who serve on the NAPPSS-IIN project. The NAPPSS-IIN project aims to make infant safe sleep and breastfeeding a national norm, with a focus on operating under an equity lens. I’ve been able to support multiple teams by engaging diverse partners to represent the populations that we are trying to reach in an effort to reduce disparities. Since I’ve come in, we’ve recognized that we need to do more in that area. I have worked hard to embrace that as we work to move the needle towards equity in both breasting and safe sleep rates.
Biggest lesson-learned when working on a quality improvement project:
Never make any assumptions and respect everyone’s lived experiences.
Funniest thing that ever happened on a NICHQ project:
Being stuck in the airport numerous times no matter the location.
What are you most proud of from your time with NICHQ?
I’m most proud of NICHQ’s effort to build awareness on the true importance of diversity and inclusion. Since I’ve been with NICHQ, I feel that I’ve helped us look at our work with an equity lens. I’ve had the opportunity to help plan and participate in our Health Equity Webinar Series, and guide NICHQ and other organizations and health professionals in this direction. My expertise shared from my lived experience of being an African American women gives me the opportunity to bring a unique perspective to NICHQ based on who I am. I thank NICHQ for giving me a platform to share my lived experiences, with the hope that I can make an impact for women and children across the United States.
What are your goals for NICHQ’s future?
My goal is for NICHQ to continue working in the area of health equity and ensure that our projects and initiatives are operating through a health equity lens. With the Ohio Infant Mortality Focused Home Visiting Curriculum, I'm working with the Ohio Department of Health to create an implicit bias training for Ohio home visitors. These home visitors are women who are from the same communities, who experience racism and implicit bias even in their efforts to advocate for there clients. We are constructing a curriculum that addresses their lived experience and what they’ve been through to turn it into a positive. With the Missouri Safe Sleep Strategic Plan project, we’ve partnered with the Missouri Safe Sleep Coalition to focus on health equity by addressing financial and geographical disparities and racism so that we can improve safe sleep practices throughout the state.
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Exploring a Nonbinary Approach to Health
NICHQ is not abandoning the traditional use of the terms “mother” and “maternal.” We are embracing the inclusive language of “birthing person/people” across our work. A move toward inclusive language does not force us to stop using language that so many people identify with; at its core, inclusion is about creating more space for one another. We are taking care to expand the use of these terms in our communications, on our website, in our resources, and eventually, in all our projects.