Dr. Heidelise Als (Boston Children's Hospital, USA)
Dr. Heidelise Als is a researcher and clinician who has focused her life research on the behavioral organization of the newborn infant, especially the preterm and high risk infant. The Synactive Theory and Newborn Individualised Developmental Care Assessment Programme developed by her formed the foundations to further research focusing on reducing the iatrogenic impact of NICU for the preterm babies growing brain. She is the founder and President of the NIDCAP Federation International, a non-profit organization which provides national and international training for advanced professionals in the field of NICU developmental care implementation.
She received an MS in Education from the Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania and a PhD in Human Learning and Development from the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, University of Pennsylvania. Her postgraduate training took place at the Child Development Unit at Children's Hospital Boston. Dr. Als is a developmental, educational, and licensed clinical psychologist with over 30 years of experience in undertaking and managing major research efforts involving high risk and preterm infants and families in medical settings, and in longitudinal follow-up.
Furthermore, Heidelise holds a research associate appointment in Newborn Medicine at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, and an adjunct pediatric psychology appointment at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston. In 1987 she received the Award of Excellence of the Boston Institute for the Development of Infants and Parents, in 1988 the Senator D'Amico Award of the Massachusetts Early Intervention Consortium, and in 1995 CINN-Elekta Decade of the Brain Award.