FAU’s Ruth Tappen Named ‘2021 Alliance World Class Faculty’ Honoree

Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, College of Nursing, World Class Faculty, Honors, Awards, Research, Faculty

Bob Swindell, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, presents Ruth M. Tappen, Ed.D., RN, FAAN, with the “2021 Alliance World Class Faculty” award during the alliance’s mid-year luncheon. (Photo credit: Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance)


By gisele galoustian | 6/7/2021

Florida Atlantic University’s Ruth M. Tappen, Ed.D., RN, FAAN, the Christine E. Lynn Eminent Scholar and professor in the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, was recently recognized as the “2021 Alliance World Class Faculty” honoree by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance. Tappen, a member of the FAU Stiles-Nicholson Brain Institute and FAU Institute for Human Health and Disease Prevention, received the award during the alliance’s mid-year luncheon with more than 500 members and guests in attendance. The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance is Broward County’s official public/private partnership for economic development. 

“Dr. Ruth Tappen embodies the ideal Alliance World Class Faculty honoree. Her work has and will continue to improve quality of life for residents of South Florida and brings a well-deserved recognition of excellence to the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at FAU,” said Bob Swindell, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance.

Tappen is nationally and internationally renowned as an innovative researcher and scholar. Her leadership role, prestigious reputation and cutting-edge research projects benefit the biomedical, high-tech and healthcare industries. She is a leader in the field of Alzheimer’s disease and related memory disorders (ADRD) and long-term care of older adults. Tappen’s research has meaningfully impacted ADRD in the fields of geriatrics and gerontology and populations affected by ADRD. Among her many accomplishments is the development, testing and dissemination of an evidence-based resident and family decision aid titled, “Go to the Hospital or Stay Here?,” which has resulted in a 30 percent drop in unnecessary transfers to acute care for nursing homes upon implementation of the guide.

“Dr. Tappen is one of our most experienced researchers and she exemplifies the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing’s dedication to caring and advancing science to improve quality of life locally as well as globally,” said Safiya George, Ph.D., dean, Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing. “Alzheimer’s disease affects approximately 11.5 percent of Medicare beneficiaries in Palm Beach County and about 12.7 percent of Medicare beneficiaries in Broward County – a nearly 18 percent increase over the national average. Dr. Tappen’s cutting-edge research projects are making a significant impact in our communities. We are extremely proud of this well-deserved recognition from the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, which speaks to the respect and admiration she has garnered throughout South Florida.” 

Tappen is the author of more than 113 articles in publications including Aging and Mental Health, JAMA Internal Medicine, and Pain Management Nursing. In 2020, she was awarded a $5.3 million grant from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health for her research on cognitive change in older drivers. This grant is enabling Tappen and her collaborators to test and evaluate a readily and rapidly available, unobtrusive in-vehicle sensing system, which could provide the first step toward future widespread, low-cost early warnings of cognitive change for many older drivers in the United States.

The mission of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance is to lead Broward County in building a stronger and more diverse economy by stimulating the creation of new jobs and capital investment while facilitating the growth and retention of businesses in the county. Services offered by the Alliance include assistance with business relocation or expansion and site selection; incentive programs and information; market research; and serving as a liaison for workforce development between CareerSource Broward, educational institutions and the business community. 

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