LaTonya Washington is a Certified Neonatal Therapist (CNT) who strives for excellence in neonatal therapy and creates growth and change with her knowledge and passion for at-risk infants and their families. LaTonya, who was raised in Louisiana, lives and works in the Washington D.C. area and provides therapy services in a Level IV NICU in Virginia and a Level III NICU in D.C.LaTonya notes that she wanted to become a CNT to help address health disparities, provide families with readily-available resources of which they may not be aware, and build trust through representation.
“I want families to know that they have someone on their side who can help them navigate racial bias in the healthcare field.”
Black families are 3 times more likely to experience preterm birth, and Black infants are 3.8 times as likely to die from complications related to low birthweight as compared to non-Hispanic White infants (Centers for Disease Control, 2019). LaTonya explains,
“Working in a metropolitan area allows you to see a diverse range of families with different socioeconomic statuses, lifestyles, and religious beliefs. All parents have three things in common—they want their infant to be healthy, safe, and ultimately to come home.”
Specialized therapy services that aim to reduce gaps in services and optimize the health and well-being of babies and families start in the neonatal intensive care unit. LaTonya created an Instagram page called @theBlackNeonatalOT, which focuses on showcasing Black professionals in the NICU setting and educating parents on their role during their preemie’s stay.
Thank you, LaTonya, for your dedication to fragile infants and their families and for your work to address health disparities. We are so glad you are a CNT!