Dean Rita P. Kelleher Award

The Dean Rita P. Kelleher Award recognizes a graduate of the Connell School of Nursing who embodies the BC nurse: an accomplished nurse leader, an ethically aware scientist, and inquisitive clinician. Each year, the award is presented during reunion and the recipient shares her or his knowledge in a topical discussion.

The award’s namesake, Rita P. Kelleher, was the nursing school’s first faculty member in 1947. She served as dean from 1948 to 1968. She returned to full-time teaching and retired in 1973. Dean Kelleher died on November 2, 2009, at the age of 101, leaving a legacy that is still felt today.


2017 Kelleher Award recipient

Karen A. Daley, M.S. ’04, Ph.D. ’10
Past President, American Nurses Association

Karen Daley


About Karen A. Daley
From 2010 to 2014, Karen A. Daley, M.S. ’04, Ph.D. ’10, served as president of the American Nurses Association (ANA), the nation’s largest nursing organization. A former staff nurse at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and past president of the Massachusetts Association of Registered Nurses, she was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Nursing and recognized as a Living Legend by ANA Massachusetts. Daley raised awareness about the importance of needlestick prevention and advocated for statewide and national legislation to mandate use of safer needle devices in health care practice settings. She is currently a board of trustees member for the American Nurses Foundation and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Past Kelleher Award Recipients

Click on the links below to view video from past events.

Darlene MacIsaac Hinojosa ’86
Colonel, Army Nurse Corps, US Army Reserve
Force Health Protection Integrator, Army Health Command 
Family Nurse Practitioner, Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center

Cecilia McVey 72
Associate Director of Nursing and Patient Services,
VA Boston Healthcare System

Martha Jurchak, Ph.D. ’96
Executive Director, Ethics Service, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Ellen Robinson, M.S. ’83, Ph.D. ’97
Nurse Ethicist, Massachusetts General Hospital’s Institute for Patient Care
Co-chair, MGH Optimum Care Committee

Mimi Pomerleau, M.S. 95
President, Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses

Mairead Hickey 72

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer,
Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Ann Riley Finck ’66
Nurse Practitioner and Preceptor, Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit,
New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia Medical Center

Genevieve V. Foley ’66
Pediatric Oncology Nurse

Elizabeth (Betsy) Brown ’85
Director, Clinical Services, Partners Harvard Medical International