Elaine Larson Receives Walsh McDermott Medal From National Academy of Medicine, One of Two Nurses To Ever Receive the Honor


Elaine Larson, PhD, senior associate dean of scholarship and research, and Anna C. Maxwell Professor of Nursing Research, was recently awarded the Walsh McDermott Medal from the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). Larson is one of two nurses to ever receive the honor, which recognizes a NAM member for distinguished service to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine over an extended period.


According to NAM’s press release, since Larson’s election in 1986, she has served on approximately 50 projects, including 17 committees, councils, and boards, such as the NAM Council and its executive committee in the 1990s, and the Board on Health Sciences Policy from 2000-2003. Not only did she serve on the Report Review Committee from 2001-2007, but she also monitored or coordinated a large proportion of the reports that came out of the Academies in that time period.


Larson also served as chair or as a member of several consensus study committees covering diverse topics, such as environmental health content in nursing practice, school health programs in grades K-12, the Gulf War and veterans’ health, and protective equipment for healthcare workers to prevent transmission of viral respiratory infections. She carefully and methodically helped move reports along from first draft to final product, while striving to be holistic and mindful of the various needs of reports’ readers, such as care providers, scientists, and consumers.


“I am honored to be this year’s recipient of the Walsh McDermott Medal, which honors both me and the entire nursing community,” said Larson. “It has been deeply gratifying collaborating with the Academies on their reports—truly the heart of the Academies’ work, where we, as scientists, policymakers, and healthcare providers, can make a difference,” added Larson.


“The report I remember most vividly was 2002’s ‘Deadly Lessons: Understanding Lethal School Violence,’” Larson continued. “That report demonstrated that school shootings were clearly perpetrated by young men who had easy access to guns. For my part, I ensured the report made a recommendation about stricter gun control, which, due to deep-seated and long-standing cultural and political pressure, continues to be difficult to enact. Nonetheless, our best hope for such changes comes from groups like the Academies. So, even if changes are long in coming, as a fellow, I know that I am privileged to be among the changemakers.”


“We congratulate Elaine on this most prestigious and well-deserved honor, and thank her for all of her vital contributions to the profession,” said Lorraine Frazier, PhD, dean of Columbia University School of Nursing.


For more information on the Walsh McDermott Medal from the National Academy of Medicine, visit: https://nam.edu/about-the-nam/walsh-mcdermott-medal/


Faculty Member and Columbia Nursing Alumni Inducted as Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing


A Columbia Nursing faculty member and three alumni were recently inducted as 2018 Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN). They were honored at a ceremony during the AAN’s annual policy conference — Transforming Health, Driving Policy — which was held in November in Washington, D.C. The inductees were:

  • Rebecca Schnall ’09, PhD, Mary Dickey Lindsay Associate Professor of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Columbia University School of Nursing
  • Frances Cartwright ’92 ’93, CNO, Mount Sinai Hospital
  • Barbara Luke ’72, Professor, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
  • Kerri Scanlon ’93 ’97, Deputy Chief Nurse Executive, Northwell Health

Fellow selection criteria include evidence of significant contributions to nursing and health care, and sponsorship by two current AAN Fellows. Applicants are reviewed by a panel comprised of elected and appointed Fellows, and selection is based, in part, on the extent the nominee’s nursing career has influenced health policies and the health and wellbeing of all. With the addition of this newest class, AAN fellows represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 29 countries, comprising more than 2,500 nurse leaders in education, management, practice, policy, and research.