Alumna making strides internationally as chief nursing and midwifery officer at Jhpiego

Photo: Pandora Hardtman By Hunter Carter
With more than two decades of midwifery experience that has impacted health care not only in the United States but also countries around the globe, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing alumna Pandora T. Hardtman, DNP, is continuing her contributions to global health as chief nursing and midwifery officer at the Johns Hopkins Program for International Education in Gynecology and Obstetrics (Jhpiego).

Jhpiego, an affiliate of John Hopkins University, is an international non-profit health organization that focuses on maternal, newborn and child health, family planning and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS prevention and care, and the overall health of women and families. 

“People always try to predict their future and what they are going to do, but to be named chief nursing and midwifery officer at Jhpiego was a pleasant surprise to me,” said Hardtman, who earned her doctor of nursing practice from the UAB School of Nursing in 2012. “My main duties at Jhpiego include general oversight for the large multi-country Nursing and Midwifery staff,  internal capacity support and systems building,  targeted maternal child health technical assistance/health systems strengthening for the global south, alongside external representation for Nursing and Midwifery for the organization.”

Before joining Jhpiego in December of 2020, Hardtman served as an educator, consultant and midwifery provider in Ghana, Madagascar, Guatemala, Benin, Prague, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Mongolia, Turkey and Syria. She was also instrumental in starting the first private sector professional diploma for midwives in Bangladesh and provided midwifery education via internet during the ongoing conflict in Syria. 

“A lot of being a midwife and educating other midwives in less developed countries is relationship building and honoring their cultures and practices, but at the same time ensuring the safety of not only the baby but the mother as well,” said Hardtman. “What I admire when I am working with other midwives from other countries is seeing the survivor mentality these women have because there is no other option.” 

Nursing and working in public health have always been a passion for Hardtman. She was born and raised in the Caribbean where midwifery is a big part of women’s care and was ultimately motived to enroll in the UAB School of Nursing’s DNP program because she wanted to make a difference in care practices around her.

“What led me to UAB was I wanted to change what I was seeing on a global level and UAB, and Alabama itself, gave me opportunities to support families with health disparities while also obtaining my degree,” said Hardtman. “UAB gave me the tools and guidance I needed to get where I am at today, and I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the mentors and education I gained in the School of Nursing.”

When Hardtman isn’t positively impacting the world through her continuous contributions to midwifery, she enjoys hiking and diving deep into sci-fi novels. 

“Sometimes it is just nice to get away from reality and focus on yourself for a bit,” said Hardtman. “Before the COVID-19 pandemic I was doing Zumba every chance I could, but I had to substitute that for another hobby due to social distancing measures.” 

For her work on a state, national and international level, Hardtman was recently honored as one of the 70 Visionary Leaders in the UAB School of Nursing in March 2021, which was given to outstanding UAB School of Nursing graduates for exemplary service in education and research, exemplary leadership, innovation, and far-reaching impact on nursing and health care on state, national, and international levels.

Read 302 times Last modified on May 26, 2021

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