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June 2010
Greetings from the President

Catherine Gilliss,
Catherine Gilliss, DNSc, RN, FAAN
President, AAN

Dear Fellows:

It has been said that Washington has a short attention span. To wit: the once-widespread coverage of health reform has given way to media coverage of the tragic explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. None the less, our work continues; the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) is working to ensure that the health care concerns of the public are met. In this update, I think you will see the evidence of that effort.

We are very pleased that AAN Fellow Mary Naylor has been appointed to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC). An independent Congressional agency established by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-33), MedPAC advises the U.S. Congress on issues affecting the Medicare program. The Commission's statutory mandate is quite broad: In addition to advising the Congress on payments to private health plans participating in Medicare and providers in Medicare's traditional fee-for-service program, MedPAC is also tasked with analyzing access to care, quality of care, and other issues affecting Medicare. Mary will serve as one of the Commission's 17 members for a three-year term.

We are now working on the nomination of other nurse leaders to key commissions introduced by health reform legislation, including the National Health Care Workforce Commission and the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute Board of Governors.

Under the leadership of AAN Secretary Diana Mason, our successful Raise the Voice (RTV) campaign hosted an event at the National Press Club to announce that Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell will serve as the next Chair of the RTV Advisory Council. While governor, Ed Rendell implemented Prescription for Pennsylvania, which improved access to needed health care services by enabling a broader scope of practice for advanced practice registered nurses. Raise the Voice is preparing to host another event at the Kaiser Family Foundation on June 30th. This event will feature innovative models of care that are effective and are ready to be “scaled up” and adopted for broader use.

Governor Rendell follows University of Miami President and former Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, who chaired the RTV Advisory Council since its inception. We are grateful to Dr. Shalala for her leadership and tireless effort on behalf of RTV. She will remain on the Council and has accepted our invitation to speak at our Annual Meeting in November 2010.

The American Nurses Association’s Board of Directors just completed its Spring Board meeting and AAN was represented at those meetings by AAN President-Elect, Joanne Disch. The ANA House of Delegates begins on June 16 and AAN Interim CEO Lola Fehr will provide greetings to the Delegates on AAN’s behalf.

Under the leadership of Chairs Judith Baggs and Margaret McClure, our Fellow Selection Committee met in May to review applications for Fellowship in AAN. Although we are still waiting to hear from those selected for Fellowship, we anticipate inducting the largest class ever – 116 Fellows – at our 2010 Annual meeting.

Our participation on the Nursing Alliance for Quality Care (NAQC) is led by Fellow Gerri Lamb, who also serves as NAQC co-chair with Fellow Polly Bednash, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the NAQC is bringing together key constituencies in nursing to advance nursing’s voice in the quality dialogue. The early actions of this newly formed group have included the development of infrastructure, including bylaws, policies, and a fee schedule. The strategic plan has been revised and approved. Gerri reports that the strategic priorities of the NAQC should dovetail well with those of the Academy.

AAN’s Strategic Plan has continued and the Board has posted the document for all to see under the Fellows Only section of the Academy Web site. As we have worked on this plan we have become very committed to this document as a dynamic document, which we envision will continue to evolve as it guides our work through 2014. I am grateful to the Board Members who served on our Strategic Planning Sub-Committee and to our Fellows, who offered valuable contributions to each draft of this work. Our goals offer us direction and our tactics will continue to develop, based on opportunities and the related long-term financial plan for AAN which is still under development.

At the next Board of Directors Meeting, which will take place in Alexandria, VA from July 15-16, we will spend time continuing this strategic work, particularly the development of the related long-term financial plan.

Earlier this month, the Academy settled into its new location at 1000 Vermont Ave NW, Washington, D.C. The work of staff and Fellows has continued to move forward seamlessly. Chief Executive Officer Pat Ford-Roegner’s resignation was effective on June 5. I want to reiterate the Academy’s gratitude for Pat’s years of leadership and for her role in establishing the Academy in Washington, DC. We will celebrate her legacy at our November meeting. As previously mentioned, Fellow Lola Fehr is serving as our Interim CEO during this transition. Please join me in welcoming Lola and thanking her for her service during this period.

The search for our next CEO is being chaired by Fellow Jean Johnson. With the assistance of a diverse group of esteemed colleagues who comprise the Search Committee, the work is progressing well. They are now vetting an outstanding pool of qualified candidates, and we anticipate completing the search in time to install our new CEO for the fall.

Thank you for your continued support and engagement in our work and best wishes for a restorative summer season.


Catherine Gilliss, DNSc, RN, FAAN

Dear Fellows:

Sometime around the end of April I was planning my summer breaks—an occasional mountain weekend getaway or maybe a trip to Santa Fe with tickets to the opera. A little more than a month later I found myself settling in for a summer in Washington, DC, working at the American Academy of Nursing. Life happens when you’re making other plans, and I am pleased to be here. It probably would not enhance your confidence in my ability to function as your Interim CEO if you knew I got lost trying to find the office on my first trip. But after just two weeks, what I have found in that office is a dedicated staff searching though moving boxes for some of their much-needed items – a result of their own relocation from 17th St., NW, to Vermont Ave., NW. It appears we are transitioning and learning together.

It is a busy time for a move, and our high-priority activities include welcoming the new Fellows with the appropriate processes, and preparing for both the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science (CANS) Conference and the Academy’s Annual Conference and Meeting. We are also planning a major event for the Raise the Voice campaign and welcome the assistance of Pat Ford-Roegner on that project. And it should come as no surprise to Academy members that there are frequent, unanticipated opportunities to submit documents, nominate individuals, appear at special events, etc., that require staff attention if the Academy is to move toward fulfilling its mission.

Please contact me if you have any questions.



Lola M. Fehr, MS, RN, CAE, FAAN
Interim CEO


Key Dates

  • Conferences:
    • American Academy of Nursing 37th Annual Meeting and Conference
      November 11-13, 2010
      Grand Hyatt Washington, Washington, DC
    • 2010 State of the Science Congress on Nursing Research
      September 27-29, 2010
      Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC
Update from AAN Headquarters

The Academy Welcomes New Staff

In this season of change, the American Academy of Nursing has benefited from the quick hiring of new employees and loyalty of those employees that have transitioned to other roles in their lives.

Pat Ford-Roegner, AAN's past CEO, retired officially on June 5. She is currently working through June 30 as a consultant in support of the Raise the Voice campaign.

Joy Burwell, Program Associate with the Academy, left her position to take a new job on May 22. She has agreed to work as a consultant for the Academy for a number of weeks to continue to keep the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science (CANS) work underway and orient our new staff person.

Beach Lagassa, Program Associate of the Academy, left her position on June 15. Beach is moving to New York City where she will pursue classes toward achieving her goal of attending veterinary school. Beach has agreed to work as a consultant to orient our new staff person to the Fellow Selection process and assist with a number of her other assignments for a number of weeks.

Mallory Schindler, Program Associate, has been hired fulltime and started June 15. Mallory will be working as the staff member for CANS. She will be communicating with Joy Burwell in order to orient to the high-paced demands of the upcoming CANS State of the Science Conference. Mallory has experience working in the academic setting; most recently she worked as the Manager of Operations at Georgetown University. Prior to her role at Georgetown, she worked as Director of the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies Arts & Sciences Dean’s Office at the University of Richmond. She also worked as Tutorial Director for Winston Salem State University.

Megan Vijiarungam, Program Assistant, has been hired as a temporary part-time staff member to work with the Fellow Selection process, assist with the Academy's Annual Meeting and support the fast-paced work of the Academy. Megan is a recent graduate of George Washington University. She has had experience as a political affairs assistant with The American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Danielle Mensh, recently joined as a temporary employee, serving as administrative assistant to the John A. Hartford Foundation-funded Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity (BAGNC) program. Danielle has over three years professional experience in a variety of industries. Her most recent position included working for New Wave Entertainment in Los Angeles, CA as a receptionist and administrative assistant. Danielle possesses many talents, including expertise in social media and video production. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia College in Chicago.

Implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Though the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was contentious at best, implementing the health care reform law will prove to be equally if not more challenging. It is now the responsibility of federal agencies to interpret the more broadly-defined provisions of the law and begin to shape regulations.

Many states are mounting legal challenges to the law, and those that aren’t must create infrastructure and make decisions about whether to create insurance exchanges and other options the law offers—and all within already-strapped budgets. Viewing this as both a daunting undertaking and an enormous opportunity, the Academy is actively working with its strategic partners, federal agencies, the nursing community and other stakeholders to ensure that nursing’s contributions are fully integrated into the new system.

Currently, staff are working to gather and support candidates for the National Health Care Workforce Commission, which will evaluate all aspects of the health care workforce as it relates to the needs of the population, and the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute Board of Governors, which will guide comparative effectiveness research efforts. The Academy will continue to participate in and help to shape this complex process where possible to ensure that this monumental act benefits patients and families.

Team-Based Care Initiative with American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation
In early 2009, under the leadership of then-President Pam Mitchell and current President Catherine Gilliss, the American Academy of Nursing and the ABIM Foundation convened a steering committee to explore team-based care, and its successes and failures—and the causes thereof—to date. The committee, throughout a series of calls, discussed various models and the lessons learned, and it determined that a meeting of a broad variety of stakeholders should be convened to build a framework for creating and sustaining successful teams. AAN and the ABIM Foundation hosted 40 representatives of government, payor, provider, academic, funder and consumer organizations for an intensive day and a half meeting this March in Philadelphia.

Using a commissioned white paper by Mary Naylor, Ken Coburn, and Ellen Kurtzman, et al., as a springboard for a discussion about successful examples, characteristics, and diffusion strategies, five key action steps to promote the use of teams to care for the chronically ill in ambulatory settings were developed:

• Build the business case;
• Highlight best practices and develop a learning network to support practice change;
• Develop measures of team-based care;
• Develop competencies and support workforce development; and
• Develop a social contract related to team-based care.

Attendees are currently participating in workgroups, and the ABIM Foundation will reconvene all participants in the fall of 2010 to assess the workgroups’ progress toward these steps.

Raise the Voice
The Academy is thrilled to announce that Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell has assumed the chairmanship of the Raise the Voice Advisory Council from the Honorable Donna Shalala, who gave three generous years of her time and leadership to the campaign.

His Prescription for Pennsylvania initiative, designed to improve access to high quality, affordable health care in Pennsylvania, included legislation that lifted practice restrictions on nurses. “I believe that nurses are a vital and integral part of the plan to providing more affordable and accessible health care to our citizens,” he said. “I look forward to working with the American Academy of Nursing to continue shaping public health policy that will benefit our citizens today and in the future.”

To welcome Governor Rendell and connect Pennsylvania’s reform efforts to the implementation of the federal reform law, the Academy hosted a panel and reception on May 26, “Pennsylvania’s Experience: A Blueprint for Implementing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” The panel, moderated by Jackie Judd of the Kaiser Family Foundation, included Eileen Sullivan-Marx, Susan Reinhard and Tine Hansen-Turton. Nurse-led models of care and lifting scope-of-practice restrictions, both of which have increased access to qualified providers for the newly insured in Pennsylvania, were discussed within the context of Pennsylvania’s lessons learned, as well as their potential within the new law.

The Academy will also host a briefing at the Kaiser Family Foundation on June 30, “Solutions to Scale: What is Preventing Proven Health Care Models from Primetime?” The panelists will examine the various directions the implementation of health reform may take and cite examples – community health teams, accountable care organizations, medical homes – that must be considered by federal and state agencies as reform becomes reality. The discussion will also be available via Web cast.

In collaboration with the Center to Champion Nursing in America, the Academy participated in an editorial board meeting at the Dallas Morning News on May 17. The effort was facilitated by GYMR Public Relations and PR Solutions and was designed to combine goals of raising awareness for nursing workforce issues and promoting nurse-led, patient-centered models of care that will expand under health care reform legislation. AAN Board member Pat Yoder-Wise represented the Academy and its Raise the Voice campaign, joining Elizabeth Poster, Dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Texas, Arlington and John Castle and Tricia Johnson, who both represented the Nurse-Family Partnership. The effort resulted in an editorial published on May 25, headlined: Nurse-Family Partnership deserves investment. We will continue to hone the message and seek other opportunities to influence editorial boards of major publications in the future.

Lastly, staff continue to work with consultants on an inventive photojournalism project that will document six Edge Runner sites, encapsulating the hard and diverse work of nursing in a poignant way. Documentation of the first location, Ruth Lubic’s Family Health and Birth Center, is close to completion, and the Academy plans to unveil the series at its Annual Meeting and Conference in November.

The Academy was active in its efforts to regularly disseminate news releases and announcements during the second quarter of 2010. Following the enactment of health reform legislation, the Academy has published statements in response to a Presidential Memorandum, the appointment of Mary Naylor to MedPAC, the latest cohort of Scholars and Fellows in Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity (BAGNC), and in recognition of nurse-authored articles in Health Affairs addressing the roles of nurse practitioners and the barriers impeding the full scope of their practice. Click the hyperlinks above or visit to view the news releases. We encourage Fellows to subscribe to the Academy’s RSS Feed or follow us on Facebook or Twitter as another way of promptly receiving these news alerts and staff postings.

End-of-Life Care Task Force
The Academy is pleased to announce that six accomplished individuals – Virginia Tilden, Inge Corless, Constance Dahlin, Betty Ferrell, Rosemary Gibson and Judy Lentz – have completed a board-inspired charge to address the issues of end-of-life care and the misinformation that was so apparent during last summer’s health reform debate. We hope to highlight their excellent work in the coming months.

AAN Launches Environmental Health Expert Panel
During March, AAN President Catherine Gilliss and the AAN Board voted to establish an Expert Panel addressing Environmental Health. All members of the Academy are invited to attend the inaugural meeting of this panel, which will be chaired by Patricia Butterfield, Dean at Washington State University. Joanne Disch will serve as Board liaison for the Panel. The initial meeting will be held during the 2010 Annual Meeting and Conference on November 11-13th.

Topics for discussion at the initial meeting will include environmental health research by nursing scientists, trends in environmental health policies, and advances addressing environmentally sustainable health care practices. Strategic opportunities to advance the work of the Academy, environmental health science, and environmental health policy will also be discussed. All are welcome to attend. Please feel free to contact Patricia Butterfield at or 509.324.7292 with any input or ideas prior to the Annual Meeting.

Health Information Technology
Phase III of the Technology Targets is complete. This work was done in thanks to subcontract money from the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE). Workforce Commission members Pam Cipriano and Linda Burnes Bolton followed up with an electronic survey with all 25 TD2 sites, as well as the AONE Transforming Care at the Bedside sites that completed the TD2 to see what impacts were made. A final report about what was found is in progress.

Campaign for Better Care/Time to Talk CARDIO
In April, the Academy officially partnered with the Campaign for Better Care, an initiative of the National Partnership for Women and Families and a movement of patients, caregivers, advocates and concerned citizens who will work to ensure that we all realize the promise of health reform. The campaign will provide an additional forum to promote nurse-led innovations and solutions, which have been the centerpiece of the Academy’s Raise the Voice campaign.

In May, the Academy was pleased to announce the imperative addition of a nurse on the Advisory Board of Time to Talk CARDIO, an initiative which aims to help patients and health care professionals improve their communication skills to help better manage heart health through an online training tool and complementary resources. Fellow Patricia Seifert was introduced during an Advisory Board call led by former US Surgeon General Richard Carmona.

Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence and J. A. Hartford Foundation Partnership
The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence announced a new partnership and award to the Academy. This two-year partnership will support nine doctoral candidates in geriatric nursing, one at each of the nine Hartford Centers of Geriatric Nursing Excellence (CGNE). The Jonas Hartford Scholarships will be administered by Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity (BAGNC) Coordinating Center.

The Jonas Hartford Scholars will use their awards to pursue the goal of becoming faculty in geriatric nursing, particularly in geriatric mental health or community-based care for elders. The program reflects a shared commitment by the Hartford Foundation and the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence to addressing the nation's accelerating nursing shortage through faculty development. Hear more about the partnership in this video featuring Barbara and Donald Jonas:

2010 BAGNC Cohort
The Academy announced over $2 million in awards to its latest cohort of fellows and scholars in academic geriatric nursing. Eight Claire M. Fagin postdoctoral Fellows will each receive $120,000 to support advanced research training, mentorship, leadership and career development. Eleven predoctoral scholars will receive a scholarship of $100,000 to support their doctoral training and launch careers in academic geriatric nursing.

Read more about the program and the 2010 Cohort of Scholars and Fellows on the BAGNC website.

Research in Gerontology Nursing Special Issue
The new BAGNC Alumni Association announced a publishing project planned in collaboration with the editor of Research in Gerontology Nursing, Kathleen Buckwalter, and the BAGNC Coordinating Center. A call for abstracts will be issued later this summer for papers to be published in a 2012 Special Issue of Research in Gerontological Nursing. The issue will highlight research supported by the BAGNC program.

“A Day in the Life…” BAGNC’s YouTube Contest
The purpose of the BAGNC YouTube Contest is to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the John A. Hartford Foundation’s Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity (BAGNC) program. The contest asks participants to create a short video responding to the prompt: "A Day in the Life of a Gerontological Nurse". The goal is to focus on the growing field of geriatric health care and nursing’s role in caring for America's diverse aging population. The contest is open to any student enrolled in a U.S. School of Nursing program or RN (18 years or older) and a legal resident of the United States.

For official contest rules and how to enter, please visit:

Academy Initiatives

Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science

All persons interested in the Council’s mission, “Better health through nursing science,” are invited to become members. To join or for more information visit the Council’s Web site:

Save the Date:
2010 State of the Science Congress on Nursing Research
September 27th – 29th
Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC
For more information visit:  


New Resources from the Geropsychiatric Nursing Collaborative
The Geropsychiatric Nursing Collaborative has developed the following resources to draw attention to the special needs of older adults with mental health concerns and psychiatric/substance misuse disorders.

  • Geropsychiatric Nursing Competency Enhancements. These enhancements are not intended to stand alone, but rather to enhance existing or to-be-developed competencies by relevant professional nursing organizations.
  • Key Concepts. These key concepts are foundational to the geropsychiatric nursing competency enhancements.
  • Definition of Geropsychiatric Nursing. This definition serves to guide future discussions about preparing nurses to care for older adults with mental health concerns.
These resources are available on the Portal of Geriatric Online Education ( under the product ID 20660. You must register to search for the product, but registration is free. If you have any questions, contact Susan Hayes at


Fellows On The Move
If you have news you wish to share in the next Fellows On the Move, please email Tim Tassa at

Catherine Alicia Georges, was appointed to the AARP Board of Directors. Georges, who is President of the National Black Nurses Foundation (NBNF), will serve on the AARP board until 2016. According to a news release, Georges has steered the NBNF toward its vision and mission to improve quality of life and patient safety, enhance health literacy standards, and provide consumer health awareness, information, and education in domestic and international arenas.

Georges is professor and chair of the Department of Nursing of Lehman College and the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. She has been a supervisor and district manager of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York as well as served as a board member of the National Black Nurses Association and later serving as its president. Dr. Georges is also chairperson of the Westchester Area Health Education Center and a board member of Family Care Services in Bronx, New York. 

Bernadette Melnyk, has established a new partnership with the Food and Drug Administration, which is providing funding for the Arizona State University College of Nursing and Health Innovation to implement a new transdisciplinary master of science program in regulatory science and health safety. This is the first partnership of its kind between the FDA and a College of Nursing.

Linda S. Franck, has been appointed as professor and chair of the Department of Family Health Care Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing. Dr. Franck, an internationally and highly regarded expert in the care of infants and children with pain and the effects of children’s pain on families, comes from the University College London Institute of Child Health, where she was Professor and Chair of Children’s Nursing Research. Dr. Franck was the first Chair of Children’s Nursing Research in the UK and one of the first nurses practicing outside of the United States to be awarded a Fellowship in the American Academy of Nursing.

Dr. Franck's pain research program is focused on pioneering pain assessment and management techniques for acutely and chronically ill infants and children. Her most recent research highlights the information needs of parents when their children are in pain and suggests innovative strategies for enhancing the partnership between parents and professionals to ensure children receive optimal pain care. 

Susan K Newbold, of Franklin, Tenn., received the 2010 HITMEN and WOMEN award for improving patient care through health information technology. It was awarded March 2, 2010 in Atlanta, GA and sponsored by EMids, Healthcare IT News, Blue Cross Blue Shield Venture Partners, and Jefferies.

In Memoriam
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Virginia Ohlson, PhD, RN, FAAN; Mary Woody, PhD, RN, FAAN; Nancy Kay Olson Hester, PhD, RN, FAAN; and Beverly McElmurry, EdD, RN, FAAN.

Virginia Ohlson, PhD, RN, FAAN
, a Living Legend of the Academy died on April 10. Dr. Ohlson devoted much of her career to providing and developing nursing services and education in post-war Japan. She aided the work of the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission and led oversight of nurse-staffed Japanese clinics. Dr. Ohlson’s other career achievements included being appointed as interim Dean at the University of Illinois, Chicago, School of Nursing, and founding the Office of International Studies – now the Office of Global Health Leadership at UIC. The office fosters international and interdisciplinary health programs and is a leading site for the advancement of global health education, practice, research and consultation. A complete obituary for Dr. Ohlson can be found here:

Mary Woody, PhD, RN, FAAN, a Living Legend of the Academy, passed away on April 28. Dr. Woody was the founding Dean of Auburn University School of Nursing in 1979, an associate Dean at Emory University School of Nursing, Chair of the Board of Directors at the American Journal of Nursing, and worked stints as Director of Nursing at Grady Memorial Hospital and Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. She was instrumental in developing many innovative programs, which included nurse-managed clinics, a nurse-staffed diabetes day care, patient-education programs, and nurse midwifery services. She was a charter Fellow of the Academy. A complete obituary for Dr. Woody can be found here:

Nancy Kay Olson Hester, PhD, RN, FAAN, passed away April 8 in Portland, OR. Beloved by her family, friends and colleagues, Dr. Hester enjoyed a successful career as a tenured professor at the University of Colorado College of Nursing. She was a national leader in developing tools to accurately assess and manage children's pain. She loved her family and hobbies, including sewing, gardening, photography, and church choir. Dr. Hester served in the US Army as a nurse during the Vietnam War. A complete obituary for Dr. Hester can be found here:

Beverly J. McElmurry, EdD, RN, FAAN, passed away on May 14. Dr. McElmurry was a pioneering nurse leader who had a global impact on the promotion of nursing and the subsequent provision of services to at-risk populations through her tireless mentorship of international students and boundless pursuit of Health Care For All. Dr. McElmurry had been a Fellow of the Academy since 1975 and her legacy will contiune to endure despite her passing. A complete obituary for Dr. McElmurry can be found here:



Submission Deadlines for AAN Spotlight Enewsletter Fellows On The Move:
3rd Quarter September 1, 2010
4th Quarter December 1, 2010

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