Coleman Named Honorary Alumna of the Year

Former SON faculty member, Valerie Coleman, has been named the SON Alumni Association’s 2017 Alumna of the Year for her outstanding service in the arena of maternal child health. Presently the program director for Family Life Education and Lactation services at VCU Health, Valerie’s nursing career spans four decades of providing excellent care to mothers and infants, particularly in the area of feeding.

Valerie is a Certified Lactation Consultant, Certified Childbirth Educator, and a Fellow in the American College of Childbirth Educators. She was the team leader for the Best Fed Beginnings Learning Collaborative, a national initiative to improve health outcomes for mothers and infants, and for the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative.

She worked as an infant transport nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Chapel Hill, N.C. and served as a preceptor in Labor and Delivery at VCU Health (Virginia Commonwealth University) and served on faculty of the school of nursing at both universities.

Valerie is the chair of the Virginia Breastfeeding Coalition and serves on the Virginia Breastfeeding Advisory Board representing the Virginia Nurses Association and Lamaze International. She served on the Mayor’s Commission on Breastfeeding in Richmond Virginia, and is a representative on the United States Breastfeeding Committee Community Advisory Board. She is the education chair for the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute of Women’s Health Center of Excellence and on faculty for the Virginia Maternity Center Breastfeeding–Friendly Quality Initiative.

Valerie was selected as the Virginia Women’s Health Nurse of the Year in 2015. Her professional affiliations include International Lactation Consultant Association, United States Lactation Consultant Association, Lamaze International, American Nurses Association, Virginia Nurses Association, Central Virginia Nurse Staff Development Organization, and Sigma Theta Tau, where she is serving as president of the Gamma Omega Chapter. She is a graduate of the Nurse Leadership Institute and is a participant in the 2017 class of the Grace E Harris Leadership Institute.

Valerie received her master’s of science in nursing from Duke University.