Ashley Darcy-Mahoney, PhD, NNP, FAAN


Assistant Professor & Director of Infant Research
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
The George Washington University School of Nursing | Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute (ANDI)


Dr. Ashley Darcy Mahoney is an assistant professor at the Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. Her area of interest is in neonatology, developmental pediatrics and brain injury. She has dedicated her career to infant health, specifically high-risk infants' developmental outcomes.  Her research seeks to improve early-childhood outcomes for these infants, most recently through language interventions with the Talk With Me Baby initiative.

Dr. Darcy Mahoney played an instrumental role in spearheading Talk With Me Baby. As one of the six leaders who crafted the initial program, she worked diligently to target the nursing workforce to develop the campaign. She has since worked to develop and implement a curriculum within Emory’s School of Nursing to train nurses about the importance of social interaction with babies in and outside of the womb. Dr. Darcy Mahoney has given a multitude of national presentations about the Talk With Me Baby program, including at a day-long White House Summit on Early Childhood Education, and the Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Research Congress. Her work with the Talk With Me Baby team has been lauded by media outlets such as the White House blog, The Atlantic, the New Scientist, and Georgia Health News.

Dr. Darcy Mahoney is thrilled to be a part of such a novel project. “The concept is very simple but also very critical,” she says. “"Our message is simple: 'talk with your baby'. It matters because 85 percent of all neurons are developed by age three. By simply including your baby in every-day conversations and talking to them about everything, you can drastically improve their chances of academic success. The more words that they hear as a baby, the smarter they become, and the better prepared they will be for reading by the end of third grade."

Talk With Me Baby is made possible by a grant from the United Way of Atlanta and is a collaborative effort among organizations.