When Dr. DeGrazia first began to examine the issue of car seat safety, healthcare providers and parents lacked clear information about newborn infants’car seat-related breathing problems and the proper use of car seats. Her clinical experience and dialogue with experts nationwide identified the vital need for education that delineated the differences between car seat-related breathing problems and car seat fit. She has stimulated a substantial knowledge shift regarding all aspects of infant car seat safety through her research, publications and presentations.

Recently, she expanded her program of research to include the growing concern of deformational plagiocephaly (misshapen heads). Dr. DeGrazia has led two clinical trials of a novel orthotic device designed to prevent or treat deformational plagiocephaly. Most notably, her research indicates that deformational plagiocephaly is a preventable condition for many hospitalized infants. In addition to her own program of research, Dr. DeGrazia guides nurses and physicians in the conduct of research as the Director of Nursing Research for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Dr. DeGrazia received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, master’s degree and training as a neonatal nurse practitioner at Northeastern University and doctorate in nursing from the University of Massachusetts, Worcester. She is the recipient of internal and external research grants. Her academic appointments include Instructor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and Adjunct Associate Professor at Northeastern University Graduate School of Nursing. Dr. DeGrazia has served as an invited member on the 2007 and 2011 National Safety Council Task Forces on Child Passenger Safety Discharge Policy Planning and has been instrumental in the development of national car seat safety standards for all infants. She has received several honors and awards including the Sigma Theta Tau, International Honor Society of Nursing Theta Kappa Chapter (1996); Excellence in Nursing Award, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (1996); Distinguished Alumni Award Northeastern University School of Nursing (2010); and Boston Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Excellence in Service and Training Award (2010). In 2014, Dr. DeGrazia was inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.


  • Certified, Advance Practice Registered Nurse
  • Certified, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner


Publications powered by Harvard Catalyst Profiles

  1. Knorr A, Giambanco D, Staude MV, Germain M, Porter C, Serino E, Gauvreau K, DeGrazia M. Feasibility and Safety of the Preemie Orthotic Device to Manage Deformational Plagiocephaly in Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants. Adv Neonatal Care. 2019 Jun; 19(3):226-235. View abstract
  2. DeGrazia M, Difazio RL, Connor JA, Hickey PA. Building and Sustaining a Culture of Clinical Inquiry in a Pediatric Quaternary Hospital. J Nurs Adm. 2019 Jan; 49(1):28-34. View abstract
  3. Reither M, Germano E, DeGrazia M. Midwifery Management of Pregnant Women Who Are Obese. J Midwifery Womens Health. 2018 05; 63(3):273-282. View abstract
  4. Toole CA, DeGrazia M, Connor JA, Gauvreau K, Kuzdeba HB, Hickey PA. Informing Leadership Models: Nursing and Organizational Characteristics of Neonatal Intensive Care Units in Freestanding Children's Hospitals. Dimens Crit Care Nurs. 2018 May/Jun; 37(3):156-166. View abstract
  5. Mandell L, Rhein LM, Feldman HA, Bergling E, Porter C, DeGrazia M. Predictors of Persistent Infant Car Seat Challenge Failure. Adv Neonatal Care. 2017 Dec; 17(6):499-508. View abstract
  6. Carter J, Dwyer N, Roselund J, Cote K, Chase P, Martorana K, Gustafson K, Bergling E, Kamalia R, DeGrazia M. Systematic Changes to Help Parentsof Medically Complex Infants Manage Medical Expenses. Adv Neonatal Care. 2017 Dec; 17(6):461-469. View abstract
  7. Chandonnet CJ, Boutwell KM, Spigel N, Carter J, DeGrazia M, Ozonoff A, Flaherty K. It's in Your Hands: An Educational Initiative to Improve Parent/Family Hand Hygiene Compliance. Dimens Crit Care Nurs. 2017 Nov/Dec; 36(6):327-333. View abstract
  8. Knorr A, Gauvreau K, Porter CL, Serino E, DeGrazia M. Use of the Cranial Cup to Correct Positional Head Shape Deformities in Hospitalized Premature Infants. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2016 Jul-Aug; 45(4):542-52. View abstract
  9. Sakakeeny KH, Connor JA, Del Nido PJ, Odegard K, DeGrazia M. Heat retention head wrap for rewarming infants undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass surgery. Am J Crit Care. 2015 Mar; 24(2):141-7. View abstract
  10. DeGrazia M, Giambanco D, Hamn G, Ditzel A, Tucker L, Gauvreau K. Prevention of deformational plagiocephaly in hospitalized infants using a new orthotic device. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2015 Jan-Feb; 44(1):28-41. View abstract
  11. Mullaney DM, Edwards WH, DeGrazia M. Family-centered care during acute neonatal transport. Adv Neonatal Care. 2014 Oct; 14 Suppl 5:S16-23. View abstract
  12. Chandonnet CJ, Kahlon PS, Rachh P, Degrazia M, Dewitt EC, Flaherty KA, Spigel N, Packard S, Casey D, Rachwal C, Agrawal PB. Health care failure mode and effect analysis to reduce NICU line-associated bloodstream infections. Pediatrics. 2013 Jun; 131(6):e1961-9. View abstract
  13. Degrazia M, Guo CY, Wilkinson AA, Rhein L. Weight and age as predictors for passing the infant car seat challenge. Pediatrics. 2010 Mar; 125(3):526-31. View abstract
  14. Aslam M, DeGrazia M, Hossain T. Congenital nephrotic syndrome masquerading as respiratory illness. Am J Perinatol. 2008 Oct; 25(9):601-4. View abstract
  15. Aslam M, DeGrazia M, Gregory ML. Diagnostic evaluation of neonatal ascites. Am J Perinatol. 2007 Nov; 24(10):603-9. View abstract
  16. DeGrazia M. Stability of the infant car seat challenge and risk factors for oxygen desaturation events. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2007 Jul-Aug; 36(4):300-7. View abstract