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Sigma Honors for Two from Penn Nursing

Penn Nursing’s Mary Naylor, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Heather Kelley-Thompson will both be honored by the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Sigma). The 2021 International Awards for Nursing Excellence, Board Awards, and Honorary Membership will be presented during Sigma’s 46th Biennial Convention, November 6-10, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Naylor, the Marian S. Ware Professor in Gerontology, and Director of the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health, will receive the Nell J. Watts Lifetime Achievement in Nursing Award. This is one of the most prestigious honors bestowed by the Board of Directors. It is given to a Sigma member who has demonstrated exemplary achievements in nursing throughout their career. Naylor is being recognized as a pioneer in the design, evaluation, and spread of healthcare innovations, most notably, the Transitional Care Model (TCM). Decades of funded research have demonstrated that advanced practice nurses, implementing the TCM have significantly improved the outcomes of at-risk older adults and their family caregivers, while decreasing use of costly healthcare services. She is a leader in building the evidence linking nursing to quality of care. “Using evidence generated through rigorous science is paramount to making real change in healthcare,” said Naylor. “Nurses are at the center of assuring equitable, high-quality care.”

Kelley-Thompson, the Deputy Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholars Program, and Director & Deputy Administrator of Penn Nursing’s Biobehavioral Health Sciences Department, will be inducted into Sigma as an honorary member. This honor is conferred by Sigma’s Board of Directors on individuals throughout the world who are not eligible for regular membership but have demonstrated sustained superior achievements that have contributed to the advancement of nursing and healthcare at the national or global levels. Among her accomplishments, Kelley-Thompson established innovative and creative programming to support emerging nurse scientists as catalysts in transforming healthcare.

Sigma’s International Awards for Nursing Excellence reflect the organization’s dedication to fostering high professional nursing standards, recognizing superior achievement, developing leadership, and encouraging creative work.