In memoriam to my friend

In memoriam to my friend – From the Publisher

On Tuesday, June 4, 2002, the nurse practitioner profession lost a courageous pioneer, a dedicated leader, and a dear friend, Elaine Gelman, CPNP. She succumbed to breast cancer.

It was 1980 when Elaine and a small group of 15 enterprising NPs spearheaded an effort to gain statutory authority for nurse practitioners in New York State. In 1988, after years of tireless lobbying, Elaine’s mission was realized when the state legislature adopted a measure allowing NPs to work in collaboration with physicians to diagnose and prescribe.

I first met Elaine at a dinner set up by a mutual NP friend. It was six months before we were to debut Clinician Reviews, and I wondered how she–as one of the most respected NPs in the country–would feel about a journal for both physician assistants and nurse practitioners.

Elaine had been described to me as a pioneer who was absolutely passionate about the NP movement, steadfast in her convictions about the role NPs could (and should) play in American health care, opinionated, and honest. She lived up to her billing and more.

To my surprise, Elaine listened intently as Tom Yackeren and I outlined our idea for the new publication, and there was a sparkle in her eye when she heard that the journal would be for both professions. She loved the idea and thought our proposal was before its time, that it would shake up the status quo, and that it would be successful. Our friendship began that night.

As it turned out, Elaine was right. But then, she was right about many things.

Elaine’s passion for the NP profession was matched only by my passion for the PA profession. In fact, I have never met an NP who cared more about her profession and her patients. I admired her so much for that and tried to learn from her past battles and her stories about the politics of health care in New York State.

As the years went on, it was often that we had lunch and dinner together. At times it felt strange having this NP (who had been through so much and who was still a member of the State Board of Nursing) and me, “Mr. PA,” learning from her.

To meet a real pioneer is a treasure in life. A pioneer with passion is rare; one who will teach someone from another profession the lessons one has learned is rarer still. I have a lost a good friend.

Good-bye, Elaine. Thank you for letting me into your life.

David E. Mittman, PA

A scholarship fund has been established in memory of Elaine Gelman. Contributions should be sent to: Elaine Gelman NP Scholarship, c/o Quill, PO Box 10101, Newburgh, NY 12552-0101.

COPYRIGHT 2002 Clinicians Publishing Group

COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group