UConn’s School of Nursing Faculty Ruth Lucas, PhD, RNC, CLS and Louise Reagan, PhD, APRN, ANP-BC, FAANP, will be inducted as Fellows in the American Academy of Nursing next week. The Academy recognizes nursing’s most accomplished leaders in policy, research, practice, administration, and academia. The inductees will be recognized for their substantial, sustained, and outstanding impact on health and health care at the Academy’s annual Health Policy Conference, taking place on October 5-7, 2023, in Washington, DC. This year, the Academy will induct over 250 nurse leaders from around the world.
Induction into the fellowship represents more than just recognition of one’s accomplishments within the nursing profession. Fellows also contribute their collective expertise to the Academy, engaging with health leaders nationally and globally to improve health and achieve health equity by impacting policy through nursing leadership, innovation, and science.
Dr. Lucas’s research and advocacy for lifelong health equity via the foundational behavior of breastfeeding are her primary areas of impact. Dr. Lucas’s work examines the relationship between maternal genetic pain sensitivity, genetic literacy, and unique infant feeding behaviors. By investigating the value and meaning of breastfeeding in a population of African American women the adverse nutritional outcomes for infants with early bottle supplementation were expanded. Through interdisciplinary collaboration and with national funding, she led and advocated for text-based surveillance for breastfeeding pain and atypical infant breastfeeding behaviors, always with the goal of achieving equitable maternal well-being and mental health outcomes.
“Research and advocacy for lifelong health equity via the foundational behavior of breastfeeding will be the focus of my policy and advocacy as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. I will serve on the genetics and breastfeeding expert panels to advocate for text-based surveillance for postpartum health, breastfeeding pain, and atypical infant breastfeeding behavior to be standard of care. My goal will be to be a change agent to achieve equitable maternal well-being and mental health outcomes.” -Dr. Lucas
Dr. Reagan’s primary impacts are research and service, influencing nursing care of persons incarcerated or transitioning to community living. As a leader in national and regional nursing and interdisciplinary associations, she is committed to advancing science and enhancing health equity for those affected by historical and contemporary injustices. Dr. Reagan’s nationally recognized research on improving health outcomes for criminal justice-involved (CJI) individuals led to health equity-focused American Diabetes Association-funded research to increase access to diabetes survival skills and self-management. As an ANA’s Correctional Scope and Standards task force member, she helps set an evidence- and expert-based standard for nursing care of CJI persons.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. As a fellow, I will continue to advance science, enhance health equity, and improve access to care for persons with diabetes affected by the criminal legal system. I look forward to contributing to AAN’s expert panels in Health Equity and panel on Building Health Care System Excellence.”- Dr. Reagan
“I am thrilled the Academy has selected Dr. Ruth Lucas and Dr. Louise Reagan as members of its 2023 Class of new fellows,” Dean Victoria Vaughan Dickson says. “Through their research, advocacy and service, Ruth and Louise exemplify the critical role that nurses play in achieving the goal of health equity for all. Their research to date has made substantive and sustained contributions in their respective areas; I am confident they will continue to advance the mission of the American Academy of Nursing in important ways.
Alumnae Lee Galuska ‘79, ‘13, Jenna LoGiudice, ‘14, and Lucinda Canty, ‘20 were also selected as 2023 fellows, following a competitive, rigorous application process. This year, the Academy’s Fellow Selection Committee reviewed nearly 400 applications to select the 2023 Fellows. The 2023 Fellows represent 40 states, the District of Columbia, and 13 countries.
This is a historic year for the Academy as the organization is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Once the newest Fellows are inducted, the Academy will be comprised of more than 3,000 leaders. These leaders are experts in policy, research, administration, practice, and academia that champion health and wellness, locally and globally 10 of whom teach and conduct research at the UConn School of Nursing: Dean Victoria Vaughan Dickson, Ivy Alexander, Cheryl Beck, Deborah Chyun, Annette Jakubisin-Konicki, Jean Sheerin Coffey, Joy Elwell, Wendy Henderson, Kelley Newlin Lew, and Nancy Redeker.
“As a fellow myself, I am pleased to welcome Ruth, Louise, Jenna, Lee and Lucinda to our community of nurse leaders,” Dickson says. “Congratulations to you all.”