Posted on Jan 16, 2018

Dr. Harleah Buck wins American Heart Association’s coveted Mathy Mezey Excellence in Aging Award

Dr. Harleah Buck wins American Heart Association’s coveted Mathy Mezey Excellence in Aging Award

A USF College of Nursing researcher specializing in promoting competence in caring for older adults with heart failure was recently recognized with a career achievement award in geriatric nursing from the American Heart Association (AHA).

Associate Professor Dr. Harleah Buck, PhD, RN, FPCN, FAAN, received the Mathy Mezey Excellence in Aging Award, an honor that recognizes her important contributions to the care of the elderly with cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Buck said she was honored to receive the award, which is named after a well-known leader in geriatric nursing and gerontological nursing research.  Mezey is a professor emerita at New York University’s College of Nursing and founder of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at NYU.

 “I was thrilled,” she said. “Mathy Mezey could be considered the god mother of geriatric nursing. She was the first person who said, in terms of nursing care, that taking care of older adults is different – that there are specific risk factors.”

Dr. Buck said Mezey was an early mentor and someone whose work she has admired. In 2014, the two served together as core faculty in the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing Research Workshop Preconference at the Eastern Nursing Research Society where Dr. Mezey challenged Dr. Buck with her continued engagement and generativity in her seventh decade as a nurse leader.

Dr. Buck was nominated for the career achievement award by Dr. Corrine Jurgens, PhD, RN, ANP, FAHA, FHFSA, FAAN, Director of Cardiovascular Nursing Research in the School of Nursing at Stony Brook University, and by Dr. Barbara Riegel, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAHA, Professor and the Edith Clemmer Steinbright Chair of Gerontology at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing.

Both praised Dr. Buck for her expertise in cardiovascular, gerontology and palliative care and her continued work in making seminal contributions to the health of the global community.

 “She has been transformative in the heart failure community where she has been one of few experts who can straddle three worlds – heart failure, geriatrics, and palliative care – in an informed, thoughtful manner,” wrote Dr. Riegel in her nomination letter.

“Dr. Buck’s program of research has greatly increased the body of knowledge about the experience of older adults with heart failure and the all-important role of informal and family caregivers,” wrote Dr. Jurgens in her nomination letter.

The award was given by the AHA’s Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing (CVSN) at the annual scientific sessions held in California in November. The recognition identifies individuals who have distinguished themselves in promoting competence in care for the elderly cardiovascular or stroke patient through teaching, research, and/or practice.

Story by Elizabeth L. Brown, USF College of Nursing