1. Kennedy, Maureen Shawn MA, RN, news director

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Rhetaugh Dumas, PhD, RN, FAAN. Dumas, 78, a noted educator, public servant, and leader in psychiatric nursing, died from cancer on July 22 at a hospice in Houston.


In 1979 she was the first African American, the first woman, and the first nurse to be appointed a deputy director at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), serving in the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration until 1981. Prior to that, she had served as the chief of psychiatric nursing education in the NIMH's Division of Manpower and Training Programs.

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Dumas held several administrative and faculty posts, including chairwoman of psychiatric nursing at the Yale University School of Nursing and director of the Connecticut Mental Health Center at Yale-New Haven Medical Center. At the University of Michigan School of Nursing, with which she was affiliated from 1981 until her retirement in 2001, she served as dean and then vice provost for health affairs. Dumas was one of the charter fellows of the American Academy of Nurses when it was founded in 1973 and later served as president. She was also a member of the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine.


A Mississippi native, Dumas said she became a nurse because her mother could not. At the time her mother was applying for nursing school, most schools in the South were segregated and she couldn't find a school nearby that would admit her. Dumas is survived by a daughter and two brothers.


Maureen Shawn Kennedy, MA, RN, news director