Friday, October 21, 2011

Loyola Faculty Member Named American Academy of Nursing Fellow

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing Professor Inducted for Contributions in Nursing Leadership

MAYWOOD, Ill. -- Fran Vlasses, RN, PhD, NEA-BC, ANEF, FAAN, was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Nursing on Oct. 15 at the academy’s 38th Annual Meeting and Conference in Washington, DC. Dr. Vlasses is an associate professor and chair in the Department of Health Systems, Leadership and Policy at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON).

Selection for membership in the academy is one of the most prestigious honors in the field of nursing. The academy fellows represent the nation’s top nurse researchers, policy makers, scholars, executives, educators and practitioners.

Selection criteria include evidence of significant contributions to nursing and health care. Two academy fellows must sponsor each nominee. The new fellows are then selected by a panel of elected and appointed fellows. Selection is based, in part, on the extent to which nominees’ nursing careers influence health policies and health-care delivery for the benefit of all Americans.

Dr. Vlasses was among 142 fellows inducted into the academy. She was named a fellow for her contributions to the field of nursing, which include her leadership in promoting the profession nationally and internationally.

“I am particularly honored to be invited into the academy this year since five of the seven inductees from Illinois are Loyola alumni,” Dr. Vlasses said. “I look forward to working with them to advance health policy and improve the health of our nation."

Dr. Vlasses received her bachelor of science degree in nursing from Villanova University, her master’s of science in nursing from Ohio State University and her doctorate from Loyola University Chicago. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in nursing intervention outcomes at University of Iowa.

Dr. Vlasses publishes and speaks on issues related to the quality of nursing work life and creative strategies for health-care leadership. Her scholarly and creative initiatives have affirmed the work of nursing as caring knowledge. She is an accomplished researcher and writer who has published “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives: The Stories of Nurses”. After the book was released, Dr. Vlasses received more than 100 invitations to speak across the nation and to hold book signings, which brought national attention to the profession of nursing and its ability to effect change for patients. This book was named Best of Books in 2003 by Sigma Theta Tau, the international honor society of nursing.

“Fran has made significant strides to advance the image of nursing in the public,” said Vicki Keough, PhD, RN-Cs, ACNP, CCRN, dean of MNSON. “Her work has given a voice to nursing and issues related to the health-care needs of our society."

Dr. Vlasses also has conducted research on work environment and patient quality-care issues. In 2009, she was named expert faculty for the Sigma Theta Tau Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy. Her volunteer involvement in raising 12 service dogs has allowed her to advocate for individuals with disabilities and improve their quality of life.

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is part of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola University Medical Center’s campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of Chicago’s Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. At the heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is a national Catholic health system with an enduring legacy and a steadfast mission to be a transforming and healing presence within the communities we serve. Trinity is committed to being a people-centered health care system that enables better health, better care and lower costs. Trinity Health has 88 hospitals and hundreds of continuing care facilities, home care agencies and outpatient centers in 21 states and 119,000 employees.