Outstanding Young Alumnus Award

Meara Henley Peterson ’05

Meara Henley Peterson

Teenage pregnancy can be a touchy subject, but that doesn’t stop Meara Henley Peterson ’05 from talking – and doing something – about it. A pediatric nurse practitioner at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Peterson provides care, especially reproductive care, for adolescents, ages 12 to 22.

Focused on fighting teenage issues like unplanned pregnancy and dating violence, Peterson delivers care and compassion – important qualities to teens in peril – when she treats patients from Milwaukee Public Schools, the Milwaukee Juvenile Detention Center, and the Downtown Health Center. She recently pushed to establish a school-based clinic that now provides health care services to sixth- through 12th-graders at the Alliance School of Milwaukee.

For her hard work and dedication to providing medical care to adolescents, Peterson received UMW’s Outstanding Young Alumnus Award, reserved for recent graduates who have distinguished themselves in a profession or contributed significantly to Mary Washington. Alumni awards were presented during Reunion Weekend.

Milwaukee Public Schools and Milwaukee Head Start also recognized Peterson’s work, commending her on her efforts with the school-based clinic.

A member of both the national and the Milwaukee associations of nurse practitioners, Peterson holds a master’s degree from Marquette University and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Her thesis project focused on supplying reproductive services to inner city schools where teenage-pregnancy rates are high. It was nominated for the Sandra R. Edwardson Award for Excellence in Doctor of Nursing Practice Leadership Projects.