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Fellows of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (FAANP) Announce 2020 Legacy Award, Loretta C. Ford Award and Honorary Fellow Recipients

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AUSTIN, TEXAS — The FAANP Executive Committee is pleased to announce the 2020 recipients of the Legacy Award, Loretta C. Ford Award and Honorary Fellow distinction.

FAANP Legacy Award

New in 2020, the FAANP Legacy Award honors, recognizes and memorializes members of FAANP whose lifelong careers have had a profound and enduring impact on the nursing profession and the nurse practitioner (NP) role, articulating a dream that others share and follow. The vision, innovation, courage, persistence and inspiration of honorees are essential components of the legacy. Congratulations to the 2020 recipients, listed below:

Loretta C. Ford, EdD, RN, PNP, NP-C, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP, was fondly named the "mother" of the NP movement after she co-founded the first NP program at the University of Colorado. For decades, Ford has been an active champion and challenger for the NP movement in areas of practice, education and research, with countless speaking engagements and publications. Ford, an inaugural member of FAANP, has been inducted into both the National Women's Hall of Fame and the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame. Today, at 99 years young, Ford continues to inspire and influence the advancement of the NP role.

Delia O’Hara, CNP, JD, FAANP, helped to draft and lobbied to pass the Nurse Practice Act for Washington D.C., which defined NPs, nurse midwives and nurse anesthetists as advance practice nurses (APNs) with expanded practice authority. Following passage of the Nurse Practice Act, O’Hara drafted rules and regulations for NP practice, which were adopted by Washington D.C. She also worked on a change to the Pharmacy Act that would allow NPs to prescribe Schedule II–V controlled drugs and obtain state Drug Enforcement Administration numbers. O’Hara, an inaugural member of FAANP, served many years on the board of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and was instrumental in the development of the organization’s foundation. This FAANP Legacy Award was bestowed posthumously.

Jan Towers, PHD, NP-C, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP, is a senior policy advisor for the American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) and has been active in health policy at the national level for many years, working on behalf of NPs and their patients to facilitate appropriate utilization and support for NP practice. Towers held several faculty positions where she developed and directed family nurse practitioner (FNP) programs, and she served as a health policy and curriculum consultant for multiple government and private educational programs and agencies. Towers — an inaugural member of FAANP — authored numerous publications, was the founding editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and was one of the founders of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

FAANP Loretta C. Ford Award

The FAANP Loretta C. Ford Award is presented annually to an NP who has participated in health care policy development at an international, national or local level; has demonstrated sustained and specific contributions to clarification of the role and NP scope of practice; or has taken creative and effective action to turn a challenge to the NP role into an effective opportunity to advance practice and improve patient outcomes. Learn more about the recipient of the 2020 FAANP Loretta C. Ford Award for the advancement of the NP role below.

Madrean Schober, PhD, MSN, ANP, FAANP, is president of Schober Global Healthcare Consulting, where she provides consultancies to governments, academic institutions and health care clients. Schober has expertise in health care policy, curriculum design and program development for nursing. While serving as an educator, mentor, writer and lecturer, Schober advocates for insightful care to diverse populations and strategic planning for improved access to health care for all. Schober served on the AANP Board of Directors as the Region 5 Director. She has been actively involved in lobbying for legislative rules and regulations that define state NP practice, as well as advocating for and developing a coalition for NPs in Indiana. As the 1999–2000 Virginia Henderson Fellow for the International Council of Nurses (ICN) in Geneva, Switzerland, and the 1994–2014 international relations liaison for AANP, Schober's most outstanding contributions to the NP movement have been in the area of international networking. A leader in the development of the ICN NP/APN Network, Schober works to promote a visible presence of APNs globally.

2020 Honorary Fellow

Not currently NPs licensed in the U.S., Honorary Fellows have demonstrated outstanding leadership in at least one of the following areas of importance to NPs: practice, education, policy and research. The 2020 FAANP Honorary Fellows are:

Catherine J. Rick, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, FAANP(H)
, served as the chief nursing officer for the Department of Veterans Affairs, where she was responsible for the development, implementation and evaluation of national policy and strategic planning activities that support the missions of the Veterans Health Administration. Rick served as the senior advisor for leadership with Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare in 2014 and 2015. Now, as an AvaSure board member and health care consultant, her focus on health care transformation continues.

Barbara Stilwell, PhD, RN, FRCN, FAANP(H), was one of the first NPs in the United Kingdom and has since held various high-level positions with the World Health Organization, co-authoring its 2006 World Health Report. Stillwell has practiced in underserved areas of Africa, Australasia and the Caribbean, increasing her global expertise in the areas of health systems, improved health service quality, capacity building, maternal and child health, reproductive health and HIV/AIDS. In 2018, Stilwell was appointed executive director of Nursing Now.


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