MGH Institute of Health Professions board chair named “Living Legend” by American Academy of Nursing


A nurse who has had a 50-year career of patient advocacy, mentorship and innovative administration was named a “Living Legend” on Wednesday, the highest honor from the world’s most prestigious nursing association.

“The contributions of Dr. Jeanette Ives Erickson to nursing practice, patient care, population health and pandemic leadership are legendary because of her significant reach,” said Kenneth White, president of the American Academy of Nursing and dean of the School of Nursing at MGH Institute of Health Professions. “She leads with inspired vision to elevate standards of nursing practice, patient care and organizational effectiveness.”

“To be nominated by the nurse leaders that I have incredible respect for is something special,” said Ives Erickson, who holds a PhD and is the chair of the Board of Trustees at the MGH Institute, interim president and CEO at Nantucket Cottage Hospital and chief nurse emerita at the Massachusetts General Hospital. “I’ve been on a career journey with many of them, so to have them think I’m worthy of this recognition means a lot to me.”

Starting as a registered nurse, she rose to become senior vice president of patient care and chief nurse at MGH for 21 years, then helped shape research, policies and diversity initiatives, consulted hospitals around the world and led crisis responses in the U.S. and abroad.

During times of crisis, Ives Erickson has been a transformative leader, participating in the hospital’s response after the 2003 Station nightclub fire in Rhode Island and the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, and doing the same after Indonesia’s tsunami in 2004 and Haiti’s earthquake in 2010.

Ives Erickson was asked by Gov. Charlie Baker and Mass General Brigham’s CEO, Dr. Ann Klibanski, to serve as co-medical leader and operations chief for Boston Hope, the field hospital created a month after the coronavirus pandemic began, to free up beds for sicker patients at Boston’s hospitals while providing shelter and care for homeless patients sick with COVID. In just 10 days, Boston Hope treated nearly 1,000 patients.

In 2021, Ives Erickson was asked to be a leader for Mass General Brigham’s system-wide effort to vaccinate patients. Under her leadership, 100,000 patients received vaccinations.

Ives Erickson says the AAN’s Living Legend award isn’t about her but rather is reflective of the work of Mass General Brigham.

“For the 82,000 people who get up every day and want to do good – advancing our mission – she said, this award is for them.”

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