Message from the President
October 2021

Well, our 38th annual conference is behind us and I must say, I loved every second of it.  Many thanks to Dr. Donna Curry who has been tireless in her efforts to make each educational activity the best it can be and to Dr. Mary Gibson who worked to make sure our conference schedule worked seamlessly.  We are also indebted to Riggs Enterprises, especially Lisa Held and Jennifer Riggs who took care of so many of the behind the scenes duties and responsibilities.  They are truly invaluable members of our team.  Special thanks also go to Dr. Dominique Tobbell for the masterful keynote presentation, “The Making of Nursing Science: Gender, Race, and the Politics of Knowledge.

I also want to offer congratulations to all of our grant winners this year.  We are fortunate to be able to provide research grants to so many distinguished scholars. This year, the H-15 grant, which is given to faculty members or independent researchers for proposals outlining a history research study, is awarded to is Scottie Hale Buehler, CPM, PhD for her study, “Being and Becoming a Midwife in the French Atlantic (1750-1820)”.  The Eleanor Crowder Bjoring H-21 Grant is awarded to senior scholars (faculty members or independent researchers) for proposals outlining a new historical research study. This year’s grant is awarded to Sandy Lewenson, EdD, RN, FAAN for her proposal, “Bernardine Mays Lacey’s Oral History About Diversity and Inclusion, 1932-2021: A Video”.  The H-31 Grant is designed to encourage and support graduate training and historical research at the Masters and research Doctoral levels. This year, Marissa L. Nichols is the recipient of the H-31 Grant for her research project, “Indigenous Nurses in the Countryside: Rural Health in Oaxaca, Mexico, 1940-1973”.

Our AAHN 2021 Award winners are also deserving of special recognition. The Christy Award, which is given for doctoral dissertations, is awarded to Catherine Babikian, PhD for her dissertation titled, “Creating Welfare, Nursing Empire: Colonial Nursing in the National Health Service”.  The purpose of the Lavinia L. Dock Award is to recognize outstanding research and writing produced by an experienced scholar in nursing history who submits a book. This year’s recipient is awarded to Julie Fairman for the Estate of Jean Whelan, PhD, RN for Dr. Whelan’s  book, “Nursing the Nation, Building the Nurse Labor Force”. And the Nutting Award, which is given to recognize outstanding research and writing produced by an experienced scholar or student in nursing history who submits, most often, a post-doctoral research manuscript or article, is awarded to Sioban Nelson, RN PhD, FCAHS, FAAN, FCAN for her article, “Nursing in Ethiopia in the Post-Colonial Era”. Congratulations everyone.

Finally, it is my honor to present the 2021 President’s Award to Dr. Mary Gibson, PhD, RN In recognition of her service as Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee as well as for being a vital support to me in my first year as president. There is a learning curve in this position, and while I have served AAHN for many years as a member of the Board of Directors, assuming the responsibilities as president is a different level of responsibility.  Mary’s advice, as well as her continuous service as Treasurer, have made an impact on the organization that is well deserving of this honor.

I hope you are all as proud of these scholars and exemplary AAHN members as I am. Please join me in congratulating all of the grant and award winners this year!

Of course, awards and grants do not give themselves.  I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to all who worked so hard to provide a process that is as free of bias as possible and relies on the merits of the applications in a serious manner. Special thanks to Dr. Karen O’Connell, Dr. Dominique Tobbell, and all of the many members who read manuscripts, scored them and returned in a timely manner. We couldn’t provide quality awards and grants without their help. Reviewing the submissions is essential work and we are grateful for the time and attention provided by the members of the committees.

Due to the enthusiasm for the Novice Historian workshop panel discussion, a session facilitated by Dr. Rima Apple, Dr. Sandy Lewenson, and Dr. Mary Gibson, an area will be established in the Member section of the website that will feature articles, resources, books and other learning opportunities for those interested in furthering their projects or in beginning new historical research.  The panel is reviewing the member comments from this session to see how we can address the needs to those who attended, so stay tuned for additional information as this area is populated.

Our next conference will be held in Lexington, Kentucky on September 15-17th, 2022. Final arrangements are in process for the hotel and activities in the area for conference attendees.  We will share this information with you as soon as we have confirmed the details.

I hope everyone is enjoying the change in seasons.  Stay safe and let me hear from you if you have questions, concerns or ideas related to current or future projects.

All the best,

Melissa Sherrod
President AAHN 2020-2022
[email protected]



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Thank You to Our Supporting Members

Candace Scheresky, RN
Mary Gibson, PhD
Melodie Chenevert, RN
Susan Swart, EdD