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Fellows of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners Announce 2021 Legacy Award, Loretta C. Ford Award and Honorary Fellow Recipients


AUSTIN, TEXAS — The Executive Committee of the Fellows of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (FAANP) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021 Legacy Award, Loretta C. Ford Award and the Honorary Fellow distinction.

2021 Legacy Award

Established in 2020, the FAANP Legacy Award honors, recognizes and memorializes a member of FAANP whose lifelong career has had a profound and enduring impact on the profession and the nurse practitioner (NP) role, articulating a dream that others share and follow. The vision, innovation, courage, persistence and inspiration of the honoree are essential components of the legacy. Recipients are:

Frank L. Cole, PhD, CEN, FNP, FAAN, FAANP, FAEN, was a family NP recognized for developing the educational and practice infrastructures that support the role of NPs in emergency care settings. Dr. Cole’s work has had a local, national and international impact, especially with regard to the development of curriculum for educating NPs in this area. Through research and publications, he expanded and developed the education and role of NPs in emergency care, including the use of telemedicine to provide emergency health care in rural areas.

Judith S. Dempster, DNSc, NP-C, FNP, FAANP, was an advocate for NP practice for more than 40 years. As the first executive director of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and its foundation, she played a crucial role in the development of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program, Corporate Council and Fellows program. Dr. Dempster was a Vietnam veteran, National University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS) Primary Care Policy Fellow and chair of the National Alliance of Nurse Practitioners, and she served on numerous national advisory boards. In 1990, Dr. Dempster’s research on autonomous practice resulted in her development of the Dempster Practice Behaviors Scale. She was honored in 2015 with the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) Sharp Cutting Edge Award for her leadership and innovation in advancing NP practice and patient care.

Charon A. Pierson, PhD, GNP-BC, FAAN, FAANP, is the former editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the founding editor of the quarterly journal, Nurse Practitioner Forum. Dr. Pierson has published extensively on ethics in publication and has served on the Committee on Publication Ethics Council. Specializing in gerontology, she has taught family, adult and gerontology NP students for more than 25 years; has maintained a clinical practice and ­­has been published nationally and internationally on issues related to eldercare. Dr. Pierson has received numerous awards for excellence in both nursing journalism and NP practice, including the 2015 AANP Towers Pinnacle Award.

Past Legacy Awardees

  • 2020 – Loretta C. Ford, EdD, RN, PNP, NP-C, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP.
  • 2020 – Delia O’Hara, CNP, JD, FAANP.
  • 2020 – Jan Towers, PhD, NP-C, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP.

2021 Loretta C. Ford Award

The FAANP Loretta C. Ford Award is presented annually to an NP who demonstrates participation in health care policy development at an international, national or local level; a sustained and specific contribution to clarification of the role and scope of practice of NPs; and/or a creative and effective action to turn a challenge to the NP role into an effective opportunity to advance practice and improve patient outcomes. The recipient of the 2021 Loretta C. Ford Award for Advancement of the Nurse Practitioner Role in Health Care is:

Susan Orsega, RN, FNP-BC, MSN, FAANP, who has served as a U.S. Public Health Service nurse officer for more than thirty years in numerous senior executive roles and who was the acting surgeon general in the Biden administration. With a long history of participating in health care policy development, Rear Admiral (RADM) Orsega is recognized as a global subject matter expert in the realm of HIV/AIDS, advanced nursing practice, health diplomacy and disaster response. RADM Orsega played a fundamental role in the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) Ebola virus disease response, and more recently led the Commission Corps Headquarters’ operations to support an international COVID-19 response.

Past Loretta C. Ford Awardees

  • 2012 – JoAnne Pohl, PhD, ANP-BC, FAAN, FAANP.
  • 2013 – Mary Jo Goolsby, EdD, MSN, NP-C, FAANP.
  • 2014 – Jan Towers, PhD, NP-C, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP.
  • 2015 – Judith A. Berg, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, FAAN, FAANP.

2021 Honorary Fellow

The Honorary Fellow is a non-NP who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in at least one of the following areas of importance to NPs: practice, education, policy and research. The 2021 FAANP Honorary Fellow is:

Shwu-Feng Tsay, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAANP(H), director general in the Department of Nursing and Health Care in Ministry of Health and Welfare in Taiwan, where she is responsible for enhancing the health care of the more than 23 million Taiwanese citizens, managing a departmental budget of $34 million U.S. dollars and overseeing the practice of thousands of nurses, caregivers and long-term care centers. Dr. Tsay is an influential advocate for the NP role in Taiwan — from her work with the Nursing Personnel Act to her strategic introduction of various initiatives and programs designed to advance nursing education, regulations and practice to meet international standards and the needs of an aging population.

Past Honorary Fellows

  • 2013 – Barbara Safriet, JD, LLM, FAANP(H).
  • 2014 – Jeff Bauer, PhD, FAANP(H).
  • 2015 – Patrick DeLeon, PhD, MPH, JD, FAANP(H).
  • 2015 – Henry Silver, MD, FAANP(H).
  • 2016 – Peter Buerhaus, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAANP(H).
  • 2016 – Senator Daniel K. Inouye, FAANP(H).
  • 2017 – Barbara Jonas, MSW, FAAN, FAANP(H).
  • 2017 – Donald Jonas, FAAN, FAANP(H).
  • 2017 – Michael McGinnis, MD, MA, MPP, FAANP(H).
  • 2018 – Winifred Quinn, PhD, FAANP(H).
  • 2019 – Joyce Fitzpatrick, PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN, FNAP, FAANP(H).
  • 2020 – Catherine J. Rick, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, FAANP(H).
  • 2020 – Barbara Stilwell, PhD, RN, FRCN, FAANP(H).


The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is the largest professional membership organization for nurse practitioners (NPs) of all specialties. It represents the interests of the more than 290,000 licensed NPs in the U.S. AANP provides legislative leadership at the local, state and national levels, advancing health policy; promoting excellence in practice, education and research; and establishing standards that best serve NP patients and other health care consumers. As The Voice of the Nurse Practitioner®, AANP represents the interests of NPs as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered health care. For more information about AANP and AANP Fellows program, visit

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