Diane Spatz

Diane L. Spatz, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN, the Professor of Perinatal Nursing and the Helen M. Shearer Professor of Nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, is also the Director of the Lactation Program and a nurse researcher at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. A proud alumna, she received her BSN, MSN, and PhD from Penn Nursing.

Dr. Spatz is an internationally renowned clinical nurse scientist who has translated the science of human milk and breastfeeding worldwide. At The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Dr. Spatz developed an innovative Breastfeeding Resource Nurse program which has educated more than 650 nurses who provide evidence based lactation support and care to families. In her research, Dr. Spatz has been principal investigator and/or co-investigator on more than 25 grants, included those federally funded by the National Institutes of Health resulting in more than 70 articles, book chapters, DVDs, policy statements, and practice guidelines. She authored the first position statement on human milk and breastfeeding for the National Association of Neonatal Nurses as well as the new position statement on the Risks of Not Breastfeeding for the International Lactation Consultant Association.  Dr. Spatz is also Chair of the American Academy of Nursing’s Expert Panel on Breastfeeding and serves as their representative to the United States Breastfeeding Committee. 

Dr. Spatz has lectured widely both nationally and internationally.  In 2007, she was a Visiting Professor at the University of Western Australia. In January 2013, Dr. Spatz was invited by the Thai Breastfeeding Foundation and Thai government to travel there for implementation of her 10 Step model in every NICU in Thailand.  In March, Dr. Spatz was the Frances A. Matsuda Visiting Scholar at the University of Hawaii, consulting with faculty, students, and birth hospitals, as well as conducting a 1 ½ day symposium for the Hawaii Breastfeeding Coalition.

As an experienced teacher who has received the prestigious Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, Dr. Spatz has graduated 300 students from her undergraduate case study course who have gone on to influence breastfeeding practice and policy both in the United States and abroad.  Her interest in undergraduate education extends to her role as faculty advisor to Student Nurses at Penn (SNAP). Since she assumed the role in 1999, Penn students have won state and national scholarships and awards, and served on both state and national boards. 

Dr. Spatz is the recipient of numerous awards including: the Research Utilization Award from Sigma Theta Tau International and serves as Faculty for the Sigma Theta Tau and Johnson & Johnson Maternal Child Leadership Academy.