School of Nursing Mourns Passing of Jo Eleanor Elliott

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Jo Eleanor Elliott, former president of the American Nurses Association and a University of Michigan alumna who taught at the School of Nursing for five years, died May 1. She was 87.

Elliott served as president of the American Nurses Association from 1964 through 1968, during which time the ANA advocated support of the newly formed Medicare program. She also served as the nation’s top nurse as director of the Division of Nursing at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, from 1980 to 1989.

Elliott received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Michigan in 1947. She was an instructor at the school from 1947 to 1952.

In 1953, she received a master’s in nursing education from the University of Chicago. Her master’s thesis was a history of the University of Michigan School of Nursing.

In 1987, Elliott received a distinguished alumni achievement award from the University of Michigan. The American Academy of Nursing named Elliott a Living Legend in 1997. It’s the AAN’s highest honor, commemorating the lifetime achievements, influence and professional contributions of nursing’s most accomplished individuals.

“Jo Eleanor was highly influential in the federal government and created new expectations for funding for nursing,” said AAN Board Treasurer Patricia Yoder-Wise. “She was a visionary, and her work as president of the American Nurses Association highlighted important health care issues, forming the basis for endorsing many legislative actions to bring better health care to citizens.”

The School of Nursing has an endowment fund that was created in Elliott’s honor, the Jo Eleanor Elliott Scholarship Fund. The family is requesting that any donations be made to this fund, c/o the University of Michigan School of Nursing, 400 N. Ingalls St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109.

Submitted By: Jim Erickson
U-M News Service