Thank you, Provost Stranahan. It is my pleasure to tell you about this evening’s Elizabeth Blackwell recipient, Dr. Loretta C. Ford.
Dean and Professor Emerita at the University of Rochester School of Nursing, Loretta C. Ford has enhanced the health care of the general populous, has transformed the profession of nursing and enriched the lives of nurses. Finding pediatric health care in communities woefully lacking, Ford believed Public Health Nurses with special child training could provide much needed health care. So, she set about creating a model that would combine clinical care and research to give nurses the preparation they needed to help their small patients and their families. This model was the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. PNPs served their patients taking into account their health status and their social, psychological, environmental and economic situations to produce safe, effective, economical and environmental preventive care.
In 1942, Ford joined the Army Air Force, serving in U.S.-based hospitals until 1946. Afterwards, on the GI Bill benefits, she earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing, a certificate in Public Health Nursing and a doctorate in Education at the University of Colorado. As a Public Health Nurse (PHN), Ford recognized the value of astute clinical decision making and the competence, confidence and authority that nurses needed to fulfill this role. In 1964, Ford collaborated with Dr. Henry K. Silver, a pediatrician at the University of Colorado Medical Center. Together, they devised an educational program for PHNs, focusing on well-child care, normal growth and development, family education and empowerment, and preventive health measures.
Upon national success of the program in 1972, Ford moved to the University of Rochester as the Founding Dean of the University of Rochester School of Nursing. She was charged and challenged to develop a Unification of Nursing Practice, Education, and Research with responsibilities for Nursing Education and Service as the Dean of the School and Director of the University Hospital's Nursing Service.
Ford retired from the University in 1986, taught in Japan for a semester and traveled extensively internationally as a consultant on the expanded role of nurses and unification of nursing. In 1988, she returned to the University of Rochester as the Interim Dean of the Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development.
In 1979, Ford predicted that the Nurse Practitioner would become the Nurse for all settings, and that indeed has happened. Nurse Practitioners are a vital part and partner on the health team, serving patients of all ages and at all stages of living and dying, with all kinds of health needs, and in all settings around the world. The Nurse Practitioner has come of age.
Dr. Ford, congratulations and thank you for your tireless devotion toward improving the lives of others.
Introduction of Dr. Loretta C. Ford by Maureen Collins Zupan, Vice Chair, Board of Trustees
Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2003