Dana Merk, MSN, RNC-OB, CBC

In 2021, Dana was chosen to serve on Congresswoman Lauren Underwood’s Congressional Healthcare Advisory Council, a term that will end in 2023. Serving on the council has brought countless opportunities to use her women’s health background to help improve the health of communities at a policy level. Dana had the privilege to work with local community organizations and women’s health experts at a roundtable discussion with United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra to address the maternal mortality crisis in our country. She was invited alongside other Illinois leaders in healthcare to meet with Senator Dick Durbin and Vice President Kamala Harris to discuss maternal health issues and initiatives to improve the health of women, infants, and children.

In 2022, the Illinois Chapter of the American Nurses Association selected Dana for a “40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leader” Award. She is also a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nursing, the American Nurses Association, the Association for Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, and the National League for Nursing.

Dana’s specialization and research interests include high-risk obstetrics, ethical hospital practices in adoption, social determinants of women’s health, paid family leave, birth equity, maternal opioid use disorder, and reducing maternal mortality.

While education, community activism, and nursing are so meaningful to Dana and her life’s path, her most cherished gift is being a mom to her sons, Rowan and Bodhi.