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Lappe to be inducted into 2020 International Hall of Fame

Joan LappeCreighton’s Joan Lappe, PhD, MS’85, RN, FAAN, is one of 19 nurse researchers worldwide who will be inducted into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame.

Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Sigma) will honor the inductees at the International Nursing Research Congress, originally scheduled for July in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Due to the pandemic, the gathering will be a virtual event.

The International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame recognizes nurse researchers who have achieved significant and sustained national and international recognition for their work and whose research has influenced the nursing profession and the people it serves.

“Their work impacts health and health care around the world,” said Sigma’s president, Richard Ricciardi, PhD, CRNP, FAANP, FAAN.

Creighton’s chapter of Sigma Theta Tau nominated Lappe for the distinction because of the numerous contributions she has made to advance the art and science of nursing globally, especially in the area of improved bone health.

She is internationally recognized for her longitudinal research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on the effects of calcium and exercise on preadolescent-through-adolescent bone development; her Department of Defense study of the effects of calcium and vitamin D supplementation on prevention of stress fractures in female Navy recruits in basic training; and, most recently, in two NIH-funded randomized clinical trials of the effects of calcium and vitamin D supplements in populations of postmenopausal women.

Lappe’s research has defined bone health in children, recognizing that poor peak bone mass in childhood is the greatest predictor of osteoporosis in later years. She conducted the first randomized clinical trial to evaluate the effects of calcium and vitamin D supplements on incidence of cancer. The results of this 2007 study led to a dramatic increase in vitamin D research and specific guidelines related to vitamin D intake.

She is not only a renowned scientist but also a professor in both nursing and medicine. She is the Criss/Beirne Professor and associate dean of research in the College of Nursing, and professor of medicine in the University’s Osteoporosis Research Center.

Despite her extensive research productivity, colleagues say Lappe is always available to educate, mentor and guide others. She has mentored graduate students as well as numerous junior faculty members in both nursing and medicine.

Dean Catherine Todero, PhD, BSN’72, RN, FAAN, said Lappe is a credit not only to the College of Nursing, but to the entire University. “Dr. Lappe’s work is a prime example of Creighton’s interprofessional efforts to improve health care and health outcomes.”

Lappe said she is “extremely honored” and is grateful to the Iota Tau Chapter of Sigma for nominating her. “I thoroughly enjoy my research career, and getting an honor for having fun is ‘icing on the cake.’

“I owe much to the mentoring and support throughout the years from many in the Osteoporosis Research Center and College of Nursing, and the teams who worked with me deserve much of the credit for the successes we had, as well as the thousands of volunteers who participated in the studies. Research truly is collaborative.”

Sigma’s annual congress attracts hundreds of nurse researchers, students, clinicians and leaders across the globe who are focused on evidence-based research. The theme for the upcoming event is “Transforming Global Nursing Research and Scholarship Through Connections and Collaborations.”

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