In This Section

spatz [at]
Location - People View

3401 Civic Center Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Research Topics
Diane L. Spatz, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN
Diane L. Spatz
Nurse Scientist

Dr. Spatz is an internationally recognized researcher, clinician, and educator in the field of human milk and breastfeeding, particularly in vulnerable populations. Her research directly changes clinical practice to improve human milk and breastfeeding outcomes in the United States and globally.



Subscribe to be notified of changes or updates to this page.

1 + 7 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.


Dr. Spatz is an internationally recognized expert and nurse scientist focused on breastfeeding and human lactation. She joined CHOP 20 years ago and developed the hospital’s Breastfeeding Resource Nurse (BRN) Program. Dr. Spatz has educated over 1,500 nurses at CHOP through the BRN program.

Recently, Dr. Spatz was appointed to the World Health Organization and United States Agency for International Development’s task force on human milk and breastfeeding for small and sick babies.

The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing also awarded Dr. Spatz with the Dean’s Award for Undergraduate Scholarly Mentorship — an honor that means much to CHOP, where Dr. Spatz mentors many students in research, quality improvement, scholarship, and writing for publication.

Dr. Spatz can be reached at [email protected]

Education and Training

BSN, University of Pennsylvania, 1986

MSN, University of Pennsylvania, 1989

PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 1995

Titles and Academic Titles

Professor of Perinatal Nursing and the Helen M. Shearer Professor of Nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.

Nurse Scientist at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Professional Memberships

International Society of Research in Human Milk & Lactation Executive Committee (2020) and Board of Directors (2022)

Planning Committee for National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine workshop on Inclusion of Pregnant and Lactating Persons in Clinical Trials, 2022

International Society of Research in Human Milk & Lactation Executive Committee, 2020-

Editorial Board-American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing, 2015-

Baby Friendly USA-Neonatal BFHI Taskforce, 2014 to 2015

American Academy of Nursing

  • Chair, 2009 to 2016
  • Co-Chair, 2008-2009
  • Expert Panel on Breastfeeding, 2007 to 2017

United States Breastfeeding Committee

  • AAN appointed representative to USBC, 2009-

Professional Awards

Nurse of the Year - Philadelphia Inquirer, 2019

AWHONN Award of Excellence in Research, 2019

National Association of Neonatal Nurses, Lifetime Achievement Award, 2016

The American Academy of Nursing, Edge Runner, 2015

Norma M. Lang Award, Distinguished Award for Scholarly Practice & Policy, 2013

University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Expert Alumni Award for Clinical Excellence, 2011

Family and Community Health Department School of Nursing, Academic Practice Award, 2011

National Student Nurses Association, Leader of Leaders Award, 2011

University of Pennsylvania, Dean’s Award for Exemplary Professional Practice, 2010

Student Nurses Association of Pennsylvania, Faculty Advisor of the Year, 2008 and 2020

Publication Highlights

Active Grants/Contracts

Effects of complimenting breast pumping with automated breast compression, on the quality and quantity of milk expression

  • Funded: University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, $8,250
  • 2018 - present
  • PI: Spatz DL and Froh EB

Adaptation of a Breastfeeding Support Model for Neonatal Units for an African Middle-Income Setting-Botswana

  • Funded: CHOP Global Health Grant, $1,000
  • 2018 - present
  • PI: Arscott-Mills T, Mogotsi TV, Lowenthal E, and Spatz DL

An exploration of the use of technology (Angel Eyes camera system) as part of the NICU mother’s lactation journey

  • Funded: Sigma Theta Ta-Xi Chapter; $1,000
  • 2019- present
  • PI: Spatz DL, Froh EB, and Candelaria L

Extending an eHealth enhanced care approach: Development of nurse-guided patient engagement content to support human milk feeding of infants with complex congenital heart disease

  • Funded: University of Minnesota Office of Discovery and Translation, UL1TR002494- National Institutes of Health- National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences; $50,000
  • 2019-present
  • PI: McKechnie A and Elgersma K

Bereaved mothers’ experiences in donating milk to HMBANA Milk Banks

  • Funded: Molloy College Faculty Research Grant; $2,025
  • 2020-present
  • PI: Paraszczuk A, Candelaria L, Hylton-McGuire K and Spatz DL

Effectiveness and determinants of a hospital-based neonatal feeding and early lactation support model on human milk intake and infant health outcomes among vulnerable, high-risk neonates

  • Funded: National Institutes of Health- NICHD Division; $3,340,060
  • Beginning in 2021
  • PI: Israel-Ballard K, Murila F, Were F, Musoke R, Sherr K, Johnson T, Spatz DL, Waiyego M, Kimani W, Mansen K, Obong’o, C, and Engmann C.

Links of Interest

10 Steps to Promote & Protect Human Milk and Breastfeeding in Vulnerable Infants - American Academy of Nursing Main Site (