School of Nursing

Office of Nursing Research, Scholarship & Science,

Endowed Chair

Dr. Giarratano is an advanced practice maternal-infant clinical nurse specialist with a passion for improving women’s health and childbearing experiences. Her research targets pressing health care needs of underserved, diverse populations of women in urban and rural Louisiana. She participated in studies aimed at improving mammography screening and reducing congenital syphilis, however, her primary program of research focuses on perinatal mental health following natural disaster events. Dr. Giarratano studied maternity nurses who provided care during Hurricane Katrina and later received NIH funding to study how living through disaster recovery impacts perinatal mental health and maternal-infant outcomes. Dr. Giarratano’ s current focus is on finding ways to deliver community-based mental health support to women during pregnancy and following disaster, including surveying the community to determine and include their perspectives. In the most recent study, MOMSTM on the Bayou funded by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, the research team is conducting a community assessment and planning a supportive mental health intervention for pregnant women living in the River Parishes area, impacted by Hurricane Ida.

Dr. Giarratano’s research expertise is in qualitative methods, including phenomenology, focus groups, and community-based participatory research (CBPR).