Janice Kekahbah, MSN, RN, American Indian Nursing Leader Janice Kekahbah, co-founder of the first professional organization for American Indian nurses, passed away last October 12 at the age of 67. A member of the Kaw and Potawatomie nations, Kekahbah was a tireless mentor, supporter and inspiration to generations of Native nurses. She received her nursing education at St. John Hospital and the University of Oklahoma, then earned her MSN in pediatric mental health nursing from the University of New York. With her lifelong partner, Rosemary Wood, Kekahbah co-founded the American Indian Nurses Association, which eventually evolved into today’s National Alaska Native American Indian Nurses Association (NANAINA). She also held various nursing and administrative positions with the Osage and Kaw nations.
One of the nursing profession’s most internationally respected experts on cultural competency and health disparities, Dr. Ruth Davidhizar, died on September 11, 2008. A psychiatric nurse practitioner, educator and researcher, she was employed since 1987 at Bethel College School of Nursing in Mishawaka, Ind., first as an adjunct professor, then as chair of the nursing division and finally as dean. Dr. Davidhizar developed a groundbreaking theoretical model for delivering culturally appropriate care that is used and taught today by health care professionals around the world. Her textbook Transcultural Nursing: Assessment & Intervention, co-authored with Dr. Joyce Newman Giger, has been widely adopted by schools of nursing and is now in its fourth edition.