Lotas, Marilyn “Lynn” J.
Case Western Reserve University
Marilyn “Lynn” J. Lotas, PhD, RN, FAAN, is well deserving of the 2022 GCNA Lifetime Achievement Award. Her work in local, national and global communities in the translation of science, theory and research is an excellent testimony to her commitment to improving health care for all people.
During the first three years as director of the BSN Program (2000-2014) at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), she worked to improve nursing students’ GRE, SAT and GPA scores so they exceeded all other first-year students at CWRU, a standard maintained to this day. Now retired, Lotas has been highly respected among students for her innovative approaches to knowledge acquisition. She has the reputation of being demanding and exacting while always being available to and supportive of students.
Lotas created study abroad experiences on five continents for nursing students and taught international nursing faculty in Wuhan, China, for eight years and in Chile, Australia, and Cameroon for seven years. Foreign faculty came to study with her, which led to a 12-month Fulbright Scholarship to teach nursing faculty how to develop and evaluate a concept-based nursing curriculum at the Lebanese American University in Beirut. Her development of overseas nursing courses and curriculum methods have been published and currently inform education at the MSN and DNP levels.
Throughout her career, Lotas has addressed issues related to health disparities in special populations, such as urban adolescents confronted with teen pregnancies, obesity, violence, lead toxicity and other maladies that negatively impact their lives. These stubborn health problems are meticulously unraveled when CWRU nursing students engage in initiatives, such as Open Airways Asthma Education and Lead Screening programs. These innovative models have been implemented in local communities in Cleveland, where interprofessional teams involving medical, nursing and physician assistant students work in the public schools and nearby communities to deliver health education and needed health care.
Lotas’s innovative body of work and leadership has helped to enhance the public’s image of nursing. The significance of her research became a national model for community-based health care of children. Eighty seven percent of all students in Cleveland in grades 1 through 12 have been screened for lead exposure. Her research brings an increased understanding of the dangers of lead and mitigation through early intervention to protect our most vulnerable citizens.
Lotas has received numerous awards and honors, including the American Nurses Association Research Fellow and Distinguished Women in Health Care. Her contributions to nursing and work to alleviate health disparities are invaluable.