You are here

CON Professor Recognized for Life’s Work

Meridean L. Maas

The American Academy of Nursing (AAN) recently announced five nurse leaders who will be honored as “Living Legends” for their extraordinary accomplishments and lifetime achievements. 

Among the list of distinguished nominees is UI College of Nursing’s Meridean Maas, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor emerita and co-director of the John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence.

Designation as a Living Legend represents the Academy’s highest recognition. Dr. Maas will receive the prestigious award next month at AAN’s annual conference in Washington, D.C.

“This award represents recognition, by peers, of her outstanding sustained and continuing contributions to health care practice and policy in general, and to the profession of nursing in particular,” said Dr. Keela Herr, professor and associate dean for faculty.

Since the initiation of the award in 1994, the Academy has honored 82 Living Legends as a way to commemorate distinguished careers that have impacted health care through notable contributions to nursing practice, research and education.

The additional 2011 Living Legends are:

  • Patricia Benner, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor emerita in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco;
  • Suzanne Feetham, PhD, RN, FAAN, the first non-physician chair of professional and policy organizations including the Michigan Myelodysplasia Assoication, the Spina Bifida Association of the America-Medical Advisory groups, and the Michigan Governor’s Commission on Crippled Children;
  • Ada Sue Hinshaw, PhD, RN, FAAN, current dean and professor at the graduate school of nursing, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences; and,
  • May L. Wykle, PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN, first and former African-American dean of the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western University, the 24th President of Sigma Theta Tau International, and a recipient of the National Black Nurses Association Lifetime Achievement Award.

“We unite across generations of leadership as we celebrate the career contributions of these distinguished nurse leaders,” said Academy President Catherine L. Gilliss, DNSc, RN, FAAN. “We are inspired by their values and commitment and we hope to build on their success as we lead into the future to improve the nation’s health.”

Each year, the Academy board of directors solicits nominations for Living Legends, vets the qualifications of each candidate, and selects a class of Living Legends. To be eligible, a Living Legend must have been a Fellow of AAN for at least 15 years and have demonstrated sustained influence and contributions of great distinction to nursing, health care, or the health care community.

2011 NGNA Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

As far as earning accolades goes, October is shaping up to be a busy month for Dr. Maas as she will also be receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Gerontological Nursing Association (NGNA).

NGNA recognizes that the older adult population has unique biopsychosocial and spiritual needs related to the process of aging. Older adults are quite diverse because of life experiences, values, and personal goals. The Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award pays homage to Dr. Maas for her research and professional dedication to this population.

Dr. Maas will be presented with this prestigious award during the Association’s annual convention in Louisville, Kentucky.

# # #

Meridean L. Maas, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor emerita, College of Nursing, The University of Iowa, received her doctorate in Sociology of Organizations from Iowa State University in 1979 and joined the University of Iowa faculty in 1983. Her funded programs of research include: testing the effects of a Family Involvement in Care intervention on family members of institutionalized Alzheimer’s patients, staff caregivers, and persons with AD, and Nursing Outcomes Classification research to develop, classify and validate patient outcomes that are sensitive to nursing interventions. Dr. Maas is currently conducting research with electronic clinical data, including standardized nursing data, to assess the cost effectiveness of nursing interventions on outcomes for older persons hospitalized with congestive heart failure and pneumonia.

About AAN
The American Academy of Nursing (AAN) anticipates and tracks national and international trends in health care, while addressing resulting issues of health care knowledge and policy. The Academy’s mission is to serve the public and nursing profession by advancing health policy and practice through the generation, synthesis, and dissemination of nursing knowledge. For more information, visit

About NGNA
The National Gerontological Nursing Association (NGNA) was founded in 1984, and is dedicated to the clinical care of older adults across diverse care settings. Members include clinicians, educators, and researchers with vastly different educational preparation, clinical roles, and interest in practice issues. Visit to learn more.

Posted On: 
Sep 8th, 2011