Dr. Shela Hirani named one of Sigma’s Emerging Nurse Researchers and Scholars for 2020! This award from the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Sigma) recognizes early career researchers and scholars whose research/scholarship has influenced the nursing profession and the people it serves. Dr. Shela completed her PhD in Nursing from the University of Alberta, Faculty of Nursing, Canada. She is the recipient of Canada’s most prestigious scholarship awards, including the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship Award, Honorary Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship Award, and Dorothy J Killam Memorial Graduate Prize. She is also the recipient of several other national, international, and university-based awards based on her outstanding academic performance, research outputs, leadership potentials and community services.
My professional goal is to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged and marginalized women and young children through my research, leadership, and community services. To me this award is more of a responsibility and commitment towards better care of the high-risk population of mothers and young children affected by social inequalities, disaster and displacement. Dr. Shela Hirani
Dr. Shela is actively involved in research and community services surrounding improvement of health equity, health systems, programs and policies that often negatively affects health and well-being of marginalized and vulnerable groups of women and young children. As a tenure track Associate Professor at the University of Regina, Faculty of Nursing, Dr. Shela is integrating evidence based practice into her teaching and promoting research skills among undergraduate and graduate level nursing students. She has established her program of research surrounding “breastfeeding advocacy among marginalized group of mothers and young children who are refugee, immigrants, homeless, and affected by natural disaster”.
In 2018, Dr. Shela travelled to disaster relief camps of northern Pakistan (Chitral) to gather incredible stories of the difficulties encountered by displaced mothers when trying to breastfeed their children. These efforts align with the Sustainable Development Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. This align with the Partnership for Maternal, Child, & Adolescent Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) that promote breastfeeding for the first 12 months of life.
Dr. Shela Hirani’s efforts have an impact on a lives of many marginalized women in the context of low, middle and high income countries. Her research will continue to grow and impact on a global level as countries join in promoting exclusive breastfeeding while breaking down barriers to providing this nutrition.