Suzanne Feetham, PhD, RN, FAAN, visiting professor in the UWM College of Nursing, was honored as an American Academy of Nursing (AAN) Living Legend this fall at the academy’s annual meeting. The award acknowledges Feetham’s 49 years of excellence in nursing and her impact on thousands of nurses, patients and their families.
Dr. Feetham has held clinical, research and leadership positions in academia, health systems (Children’s National Medical Center) and the federal government. Her government work has included time with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Nursing Research (as deputy director and chief of the Office of Science Policy, Planning and Analysis), and the Health Resources and Services Administration. Her career has focused on bringing health care to families and underserved populations, and health policy. In 1977, she developed “The Feetham Family Functioning Survey” which is used today in research of families across disciplines with known translations in 8 languages.
She is currently a member of the College of Nursing’s Genome project, focused on building links between geneticists and the African and African American communities.
AAN names outstanding fellows of the academy as “Living Legends.” The program recognizes extraordinary lifetime achievement and provides an opportunity for all fellows to meet and learn from their distinguished peers. According to AAN, a “Living Legend” must have been an active or emeritus fellow of the academy for at least 15 years and have made extraordinary and sustained contributions to nursing and health care throughout his or her career. He or she also must continue to influence the profession.
According to AAN, “Dr. Feetham’s leadership and scholarship demonstrates a sustained legacy in advancing the science of research of families, the integration of the genetic and genomics in the practice of all health professionals and informing policy to advance health equity for at risk populations. Her commitment to mentoring students and professionals assures a sustained impact of these important contributions.”