Monday July 6th 2015

Member gift helps build political leaders

Long-time American Nurses Association (ANA) member Major General Irene Trowell-Harris, USAF, Ret, EdD, RN, has made a $100,000 gift to the American Nurses Foundation (ANF) to support the development of nurse leaders. The Irene Trowell-Harris Endowed Leadership Fund will support initiatives that give nurses a greater voice in influencing health care delivery and policy.

In 2014, the fund will provide matching grants to state nurses associations to send nurses to the ANA Advocacy Institute. The institute, created in 2009, is designed to help nurses become effective political leaders in their communities and expand state grassroots capacity. The institute features a two-day program in Washington, DC, and a yearlong mentoring program.

“Maj. Gen. Trowell-Harris’s life is a lesson in leadership and generosity,” said ANF Executive Director Kate Judge. “She has used her passion for education, nursing and helping others throughout her remarkable career to advance the nation’s health and well-being. Her investment in the work of the Foundation and ANA will enable us to ensure that nurses’ expertise and insight have the greatest impact on health care.”

Said Trowell-Harris, a Virginia Nurses Association member, “Investing in nurse leadership as a legacy is important to me for inspiring and educating future generations of nurse leaders to excel in the civilian, military and federal sectors.”

Her own successes in nursing have enabled her to be a national role model.

Trowell-Harris served for 38 years in the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard, retiring as a major general in September 2001. She was the first African-American woman in the history of the National Guard to be promoted to general officer and the first Air National Guard nurse to command a medical clinic.  During her military career, she held numerous positions, including chief nurse executive, flight nurse examiner and commander.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in health education from New Jersey City University, a master’s degree in public health administration from Yale University and a doctorate in health education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

For more information about ANF, go to

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