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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 15, 2006

Maas Honored By Gerontological Society of America

Meridean Maas, Ph.D., University of Iowa College of Nursing professor emerita and co-director of the John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, has earned the prestigious Doris Schwartz Gerontological Nursing Research Award. The award is given to a member of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) in recognition of outstanding and sustained contribution to geriatric nursing research.

In addition to her many published works – more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, 11 books and 47 book chapters – Maas' contributions to gerontology are noteworthy with regard to care of persons with Alzheimer's in nursing homes, including the impact of special care units and the role of family caregivers. Through her efforts over the last 40-plus years, she has significantly influenced the development of resident-centered environments of persons with cognitive impairment.

In a nomination letter, Neville Strumpf, Ph.D., the Edith Clemmer Steinbright Professor and director of the Center for Gerontologic Nursing Science at Pennsylvania State University, said of Maas, "Her curriculum vitae amply illustrates what it means to dedicate a lifetime to research in aging and to the betterment of older adults in ways that reverberate significantly throughout professional practice in health care, influence on policy change and the mentorship of generations of scholars in aging."

Maas' Family Involvement in Care study was widely acclaimed as groundbreaking. The intervention she proposed focused on enhancing the roles of family members of Alzheimer's patients to new negotiated partnership roles with special care unit staff. She also addressed the issues of resolving family-staff conflict and increasing knowledge and people resources for caregiving in order to reduce stress and increase satisfaction among family and staff caregivers. Her conclusion was that these measures render a more therapeutic environment for persons with Alzheimer's.

"Meridean is well deserving of this esteemed award," said Martha Craft-Rosenberg, Ph.D., interim dean of the UI College of Nursing. "She has been at the forefront in the evolution of nursing diagnosis, interventions and outcomes development, and their application to effectiveness research and care of the elderly. Her willingness to take risks to create living spaces for elderly people that reflect current science truly set her apart from the typical academic researcher. Future alternative environments for older people will owe much to her demonstration that best practices can be implemented in long-term care settings."

The award will be formally presented at the GSA Annual Meeting Nov. 16-20 in Dallas, Texas, where Maas will deliver a lecture titled, "Looking Back to Change Forward: Musings of a Seasoned Gerontological Nurse Researcher and Crone," at the nursing special interest group. The award, which carries a cash prize of $300, is presented by the Clinical Medicine section of the Gerontological Nursing Association, in collaboration with the John A. Hartford Foundation Institute for Geriatric Nursing.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Michele Francis, 319-335-8960,