Making Waves: promoting the best outcomes for families during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum – Britney Benoit honoured with early career/emerging researcher award

Photo of Dr. Britney Benoit, recipient of the 2022 Making Waves Early Career/Emerging Researcher Award
Photo of Dr. Britney Benoit, recipient of the 2022 Making Waves Early Career/Emerging Researcher Award

As a registered nurse and researcher, Britney Benoit’s focus is on improving maternal and infant care by supporting parent-led interventions, such as breastfeeding and parent-infant skin-to-skin contact. Not only does her research ensure that parents are supported in feeding and caring for their new baby, but it is also an important way of recognizing the powerful role they play as partners in the health of their children.

Nova Scotia Health has a program that celebrates such outstanding efforts with special awards known as Making Waves.

Dr. Benoit is the recipient of the 2022 Making Waves Early Career/Emerging Researcher Award. This award recognizes an early career researcher who has shown promise in terms of leadership and achievement and who has contributed to research at Nova Scotia Health.

Tell us a bit about yourself; what you do, where you are located, and your favourite part about it?

“I am a faculty member in the Rankin School of Nursing at St. Francis Xavier University and an Affiliate Scientist with Nova Scotia Health. In my role, I spend my time doing research, teaching in the nursing program, and contributing to different service roles within the university and community. I thoroughly enjoy working with teams conducting research that can impact health and health care – to be able to identify an issue, work to answer questions and identify solutions, and then use that knowledge to impact clinical care excites me! I also love being able to bring that knowledge into the classroom to influence the practice of future registered nurses.”

How do you feel your work contributes to the health and wellbeing of Nova Scotians? Why is it important?

“I work in collaboration with numerous partners, including clinicians, health systems leaders and decision makers, and families. It’s my hope that my research will contribute to families receiving best-practice care and feeling supported in caring for their new baby – including receiving the knowledge and support they need to breastfeed their baby.”

What does it mean to you to receive the Early Career/Emerging Researcher Award?

“I am incredibly grateful to receive this recognition. There are so many early career researchers doing important work to impact on health and health care in Nova Scotia – to be identified as one of them is an honor! As a registered nurse, it’s important to me that the work I am doing has a positive impact on care and improves experiences and outcomes for infants and families. Receiving this award reinforces that I am doing good work that can help individuals, families, and communities.”

As this year’s recipients of the Early Career/Emerging Researcher Award, how do you hope to inspire others who are working to make a difference in the lives of Nova Scotians each day?

“I want to inspire current and future nurses to pursue a diversity of career paths in which they can impact health - including research and education! I also hope that my research contributes to recognition of the importance of supportive environments for families in the perinatal period, as well as the essential work that healthcare providers are doing in Nova Scotia to promote best outcomes for families during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.”

Congratulations to Dr. Benoit on receiving the 2022 Making Waves: Early Career/Emerging Researcher award. By spanning the generation of new knowledge, synthesizing existing knowledge, and translating that knowledge into health system policy and practice, she is playing a large role improving the health outcomes for women, infants, families, and communities.