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University of Iowa News Release

Release: Feb. 21, 2003

UI College of Nursing Professor Wins National Award

Keela Herr, Ph.D., R.N., professor and chair of the Adult and Gerontological Nursing Area of Study at the University of Iowa College of Nursing will receive the American Society of Pain Management Nurses (ASPMN) 2003 Nurse Exemplar Award today at the ASPMN annual meeting in Kansas City, Mo.

The ASPMN Nurse Exemplar Award is presented yearly to a nurse in recognition of outstanding contribution to the field of pain management nursing.

"As the aging population grows in America, Dr. Herr has proactively and tenaciously shifted the mythology of pain assessment and practice in the elderly to a more scientific approach of assessment, intervention and evaluation," said Barbara St. Marie, former member of the ASPMN Board of Directors and one of the nominators of Herr for the award. "She is a visionary in her field."

Herr's many contributions have touched the areas of research, education, practice and policy. She has received more than $3 million in grant support from a variety of sources, including the National Institute of Nursing Research, the Agency for Health Research and Quality and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to study pain in the elderly. In addition, Herr spearheaded improvements in the management of pain in the elderly through the development and application of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, including the American Geriatric Society's newest guidelines on "Management of Persistent Pain in Older Adults."

Chris Pasero, another nominator and noted pain educator and consultant, noted, "Dr. Herr is a wonderful role model for nurses, and perhaps her most outstanding asset is her complete willingness to share her knowledge and expertise with her colleagues and her tireless efforts to help them provide the best possible care for people with pain."

Herr has impacted the practice of pain management through numerous professional presentations, publications and leadership activities, including service on the boards of directors of the ASPMN and of the American Pain Society and editorial boards of highly respected pain journals. Herr recently co-edited a guidebook, "Persistent Pain in Older Adults: An Interdisciplinary Guide to Treatment," with practical information on improving the quality of care for older persons in pain.

The UI College of Nursing is part of the University of Iowa Health Sciences Center and provides nursing education at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree levels. Ranked as a leader among 600 nursing education programs nationally, the College provides clinical experience and research opportunities that enhance the educational experience. Students graduate prepared to respond to the needs of the public and the general health and well-being of the communities they serve.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Nursing, 101 Nursing Building, Iowa City, Iowa 52242

CONTACT: Diane Crossett, (319) 335-8960,

PHOTOS: A photo of Keela Herr is available for downloading at