Dr. Marilyn Rantz, PhD, RN, FAAN, was recognized by one of her alma maters October 6, 2017. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Alumni Association presented Dr. Rantz with the Lifetime Achievement Award at their annual Alumni Awards Evening at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, Wis.
Dr. Rantz has been affiliated with the Sinclair School of Nursing (SSON) since 1992 and is a pioneer in nursing home care. She is a premier international expert in quality measurement in nursing homes and research programs to improve quality care of older adults. In late 2012, she secured a $14.8 million grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for their Initiative to Reduce Avoidable Hospitalizations among Nursing Facility Residents, the largest ever received by the University of Missouri. In 2016, Rantz secured a $19.8 million grant for her team to complete the work in the Phase 1 nursing home and then begin testing a new payment model for management of acute conditions within the facility with the help of advanced practice nurses (APRNs).
In total, Dr. Rantz and her interdisciplinary team have been funded for more that $80 million to conduct research in long-term care, new delivery models of care for older adults, and most recently, for technology development to enhance aging in place of community-dwelling elders. Much of this research is conducted at TigerPlace, a joint venture between the SSON and the American Corporation. Rantz serves as the executive director of aging in place of TigerPlace, which serves as a model of independent housing to enable older to age in place through the end of life, maximizing independence and function.
Rantz earned her PhD from UWM in 1992 and says the Lifetime Achievement Award means a lot to both her and the nursing profession.
“It means a lot to me as a professional and as an academic,” she says. “This is recognition from the place where I was educated and where I respect a lot of people. It came with some degree of surprise and astonishment because you don’t expect to be singled out by the entire university.”
Dr. Rantz also says the university choosing a nurse scientist for the award is important for the profession. “I was very honored on behalf of nursing,” she says. “That I was recognized in that way means a lot for our field. I have always viewed nursing as a science-based discipline, and this was very affirming for our discipline.”