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Nov. 1, 2012 Volume 34, No. 11

Mizzou nursing professor admitted into the Institute of Medicine

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SENIOR HEALTH Marilyn Rantz, a professor in the Sinclair School of Nursing, has spent 30 years working with seniors and conducting research in long-term care and chronic illness management. She is a national leader in the field of senior health care and cofounder of TigerPlace, an independent living center in Columbia. Shane Epping photo


Professor specializes in long-term care and chronic illness management

Curators Professor of Nursing has received one of the highest honors in health and medicine.

Marilyn Rantz has been admitted to the Institute of Medicine, an honor reserved for health professionals who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and commitment to service. 

Institute of Medicine members have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care and public health. The institute, established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences, is recognized as a national resource for independent, scientifically informed analysis, and recommendations on health issues.

Rantz has spent 30 years working with seniors and conducting research in long-term care and chronic illness management. She’s been affiliated with the Sinclair School of Nursing since 1992.

“It’s an amazing honor to represent nursing and older adults in this prestigious organization,” Rantz said in a news release. “I think I’ll be able to bring a fresh look at ways to help older adults and new innovative technologies that will help seniors remain independent as long as possible in their own homes. I’m really passionate about helping older people. That’s what gets me up in the morning.”

Rantz has helped implement the national model Aging in Place, which offers care coordination by nurses to enable seniors to receive health care in their residence, rather than being transferred to nursing homes or acute care facilities. 

In 2004, she helped found TigerPlace, 2910 Bluff Creek Drive, an independent living center dedicated to creating a healthful quality of life for seniors, and an environment of cutting-edge research to help seniors live fuller lives. 

“Our vision was for it to be a service, research and practice environment and a really active place for people to live,” Rantz said. 

She and her colleagues have received more than $35 million in funding for senior health care research. 

Most recently, Rantz and colleagues received nearly $2.5 million to develop technologies that automatically detect falls and assess fall risks, and early signs of illness in a senior housing setting. The technologies are used at TigerPlace.

“Marilyn Rantz has been a virtual force in terms of improving care and quality outcomes for older adults,” said Judith Miller, dean of the nursing school.

In 2011, Rantz was honored by the American Academy of Nursing for her leadership in developing TigerPlace. That year she also received the Nurse Leader in Aging Award from the American Academy of Nursing. 

She is a fellow in both the American Academy of Nursing and the Gerontological Society of America. 

Chancellor Brady J. Deaton said Rantz’s research has helped millions of seniors in America improve their quality of life. 

He said Rantz’s admission into the Institute of Medicine is “indicative of the quality of MU’s faculty, who are educating our future leaders while changing people’s lives through their research.”

Rantz joins six other Mizzou faculty as institute members. 

Members to the Institute of Medicine total 1,732. There are 112 foreign associates and 84 emeriti of the institute. 

— Nancy Moen contributed to this report