With great sadness, we note that Dr. Rosanne Harrigan, MS, EdD, AORN-Rx, FAAN passed away on October 16, 2016. Our thoughts go out to her family, friends, colleagues and students. Dr. Rosanne Harrigan most recently served as the Chair of the Department of
Complementary and Integrative Medicine, University of Hawai’i School of Medicine. She was the former Dean of the University of Hawai’i Manoa School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene. She served on several nursing journal Editorial Boards, and authored books and journal articles in the area of Child and Maternal Health.
A graduate of Xavier College, Dr. Harrigan received her Masters in Nursing, credentials as a nurse practitioner, and her Doctor of Education from Indiana University. She was a professor at the Indiana University School of Nursing and adjunct professor of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine. She then became Niehoff Chair & Professor, Niehoff School of Nursing at Loyola University of Chicago.
For her professional excellence in pediatric nursing and maternal and child health, she was named Nurse of the Year by the American Nursing Association. In 1983, she was named National Nurse of the Year by the March of Dimes and in 1985 named to the prestigious New York Academy of Sciences.
In 1992, she came to Hawaiʻi from Chicago to be the Dean of the School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene. She instituted the PhD Program in Nursing. Her outstanding career continued in Hawaiʻi as she was named Distinguished Leader in Neonatal Nursing by the National Association of Neonatal Nurses Board of Directors in 1996. She had numerous peer reviewed publications and was on the editorial board of the Journal of Perinatal Neonatal, the Journal of Perinatology, Women’s Health (Jacob’s Institute for Women’s Health), and on the advisory board of the National Advisory Council for Nursing Research, National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institutes of Health.
Her research and clinical interests included cross-cultural care. She published papers on health disparities among different ethnic groups and about difference perceptions of health care among mothers in Asia and the U.S. She also studied barriers to health care among the Native Hawaiian and Samoan population.
Her work in cross-cultural healthcare has also contributed to her interest in Integrative Medicine. She worked part-time at Waimanalo Health Center whose service population is largely Native Hawaiian. There, as a nurse practitioner, she worked with traditional Hawaiian healers as well as physicians.
In 2002, she brought her expertise to the John A. Burns School of Medicine. She later became the Chair of the newly formed Department of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The Department has since been renamed to the Department of Complementary and Integrative Medicine.
During her tenure with the medical school, Dr. Harrigan was the Graduate Chair for Biomedical Science in Clinical Research. She instituted a graduate program leading to the MS and PhD in biomedical sciences in clinical research for clinicians, researchers, educators, and consumers. In addition to offering knowledge and skills needed for careers in clinical research, the program functions a supportive mechanism for newly trained investigators, actively facilitating career development and encouraging research collaborations, particularly those related to research in health disparities.
As the Chair of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, she blended her strong research and clinical background together with a desire to serve the community. She brought a renewed perspective into the field of medicine by facilitating the integration of different disciplines to provide the best healthcare possible for a rapidly changing world.