Veteran professor named Amelia Peabody Professor of Nursing; research, mentorship, and interprofessional approach key reasons for appointment
Dr. Patricia Reidy has had a lot of titles in her illustrious IHP career – clinical instructor, track coordinator, program director, associate dean, professor, researcher, mentor. Now comes her most prestigious position - an endowed professorship. Starting this month, the 19-year IHP veteran is the Amelia Peabody Professor of Nursing.
“I was quite surprised and very honored because I know the people who had the endowed chair before me, and which I always had a lot of respect for,” said Reidy, whose official title took effect June 1. “The fact that it was supported by Dean White, President Milone-Nuzzo and the Board of Trustees is very humbling and a true honor.”
The Peabody Professorship in Nursing was designated by the Amelia Peabody Charitable Foundation for a nurse faculty member who researches, mentors other faculty, and works across the IHP and hospital partners to conduct interprofessional scholarly work teams. Dr. Reidy joins a prestigious list of previous holders of this endowed professorship, all of whom have elevated nursing research and scholarship through grant-funded initiatives.
“Although her grant funding is focused on workforce development and traineeship funding for students, Dr. Reidy’s work satisfies the original intent of the donor,” said School of Nursing Dean Ken White, “That’s why I recommended to President Paula Milone-Nuzzo and Provost Reamer Bushardt that we award this endowed professorship to Dr. Reidy - she more than meets the criteria. Dr. Reidy has been a stellar researcher, not in the way of bringing in NIH type dollars, but in in bringing in federal HRSA grants and more recently, a U.S. Department of Labor grant.”
Reidy is responsible for more than $7 million in Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) funding either a Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator; the most recent was the $3 million grant for Nurse-Led Mobile Program in which a van takes IHP nursing faculty and students for home visits for those having difficulty traveling to the IPC. Just last month, the IHP landed a nearly $6-million grant from the U.S. Dept of Labor to work with Mass General Brigham and help build the nurse educator pipeline, an effort Reidy spearheaded (true to form, she is quick to say it was a team effort).
“My scholarship is very different than the Peabody Professor of Nursing recipients who went before me because their research was in the area of discovery,” said Reidy, who began at the IHP in 2004. “My research has been much more on workforce development and just helping to support nursing education programs.”
Research is one leg of the three-legged stool making up the Peabody Professorship; mentorship is another and that’s where Reidy has maintained a steadfast commitment, particularly in the area of workforce development grants.
“I think about succession, and I think about educating and preparing the next generation of educators,” said Reidy, who is also currently Associate Dean of Graduate Programs and Community Engagement. “We have many new faculty who are really embracing their scholarship. I’m helping them on grant development and management as project directors. So that's where I see my role - helping to pass on what I've learned to them, and to help them along the way.”
Dean White says Reidy has been invaluable in helping the next generation.
“She's really all about developing faculty,” said White. “What I appreciate about what Pat has done is that she's brought early career faculty members on each one of these grants to teach them how to do it and then she gives the credit to them. Pat certainly has set the IHP up with its faculty. I think we're going to continue being a powerhouse with workforce development grants.”
The third and final leg of the Peabody Professorship stool is working across the IHP and hospital partners with other disciplines.
“We're working closely with Speech and PT, especially in the IMPACT Practice Center - developing programs and learning from each other,” said Reidy, who has become a valued educational resource at the IPC. “Interprofessional practice has really been the key component of my work. It really has made a difference, as far as how we're all working together and teaching students, collaborating, and really providing very comprehensive care to people with multiple chronic conditions.”
Through Reidy’s nearly 20-year IHP career, there has been no shortage of accomplishments or awards. She has 14 publications, 11 book chapters, six international presentations, 29 national presentations and six regional presentations with junior faculty members. Among her list of honors, Reidy is a Watts Award winner, two-time winner of the Award for Excellence in Advancing Interprofessional Education and Practice, Distinguished Fellow and Practitioner in the National Academies of Practice, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.
It is an IHP career that has exceeded expectations.
“I'm not surprised that I moved into the leadership space because I just saw there were opportunities and I wanted to improve things,” said Reidy. “I appreciate that people reached out to me to ask me if certain positions were something in which I was interested. Each time that I've been asked I have come forward and agreed to do it. Sometimes it's been daunting. But I've taken the opportunities, and I really appreciate having those opportunities here.”
Before academia, Reidy began her nursing career in 1975 in Providence, RI then continued her career in Massachusetts where she became a nurse practitioner, working at various hospitals in various leadership roles until she came to the IHP. Up until last year, Reidy was a per-diem family nurse practitioners at health centers in Lowell, Dorchester, and Worcester – the real-world exposure keeping her skills sharp and translatable in the classroom.
“I think Pat is a stellar faculty colleague,” said White. “She has managed to maintain a commitment to underserved populations and continues to focus her time on engaging with our community. She very quietly goes about doing her work and she cares deeply about faculty and students.”
Reidy will continue her role as Associate Dean of Graduate Programs and Community Engagement and decide how she wants to shape her new role. In the immediate future, Reidy will focus on the outcomes of the workforce development grants the IHP has received, and the Institute’s re-accreditation efforts.
“I'm taking it one day at a time,” said Reidy. “I can't say enough about the people – they are very generous here. Other places in academia can be difficult, but everybody is very generous here. And it's just been a great group to work with.”
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