Lappe Named First Holder of Criss/Beirne Endowed Chair in Nursing
Joan M. Lappe, Ph.D., R.N., an internationally known researcher on osteoporosis, will be the first holder of The Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss and Drs. Gilbert and Clinton Beirne Endowed Chair in Nursing at the Creighton University School of Nursing. An inaugural ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. on May 2.
Lappe, an investigator with Creighton’s Osteoporosis Research Center, has devoted her career to the promotion of bone health and prevention of osteoporosis across the lifespan. She was among the first to study bone health in children.She is currently the principal investigator for two studies examining the effects of nutrition and exercise on children’s bone health.
She also is active in the research of young adult women and bone health.
Lappe was the principal investigator in a recently published study on female Navy recruits that found calcium and vitamin D supplementation reduced the women’s risk of stress fractures by about 25 percent during eight weeks of basic training.
Lappe is awaiting the June publication of another research project involving older women; the study looks at the effects that calcium and vitamin D supplementation may have on reducing the risk of cancer.
Lappe earned a master’s of science degree in nursing from Creighton University in 1985 and a doctorate in nursing from University of Nebraska Medical Center in 1992. She joined Creighton in 1984 as a member of the nursing faculty; she currently holds appointments as a professor of nursing (primary appointment) and professor of medicine.
A Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, Lappe also serves on the Education Committee of the National Osteoporosis Foundation and the Osteoporosis Technical Advisory Panel of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. She is a consultant to the Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center at the National Institutes of Health.
The author of numerous articles and a reviewer for many scientific journals, Lappe is a frequent consultant and speaker on topics related to bone health and osteoporosis. For her work, she earned the 2000 Creighton Alumni Merit Award.
The Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss and Drs. Gilbert and Clinton Beirne Endowed Chair in Nursing is the School of Nursing’s first endowed chair. The $1.5 million chair was made possible through trust funds given to the university by the Criss and Beirne estates.
Dr. C.C. Criss, a graduate of the Creighton School of Medicine, and Mrs. Criss founded Mutual of Omaha. He and Mrs. Criss died in 1952 and 1978, respectively. The Beirne brothers were also graduates of Creighton’s medical school. Clinton Beirne died in 1990 and Gilbert Beirne in 2005.