Board of Directors

Mary Rita Hurley President
Mary Rita Hurley, RN, MPA, FNGNA
Portland, OR
Joanne Alderman Vice President
Joanne Alderman, MSN,RN,BC,APRN, FNGNA
Tulsa, OK
acotton Past President
Elizabeth 'Ibby' Tanner Secretary
Elizabeth "Ibby" Tanner, Ph.D., RN, FNGNA
Baltimore, MD
Jean M. Gaines Treasurer
Jean M. Gaines, RN, Ph.D.
Catonsville, MD
Jean M. Gaines Director-at-Large
Melodee Harris, Ph.D., APN, GNP-BC
Linda Hassler Director-at-Large
Linda Hassler, RN, MS, GCNS-BC, FNGNA
New Jersey
Linda Hassler  Director-at-Large
Jackie Close, PhD, RN, GCNS-BC, FNGNA
San Diego, CA
Monica Diehl, RN-BC, CHPN
Bordentown, NJ


Mary Rita Hurley, RN, MPA

With more than thirty years of experience in the healthcare industry, Mary Rita Hurley has achieved success in practice, administration, academia and consultancy. She has held positions as a clinical nurse, Director of Operations, university faculty, Aging Initiatives Director, and Director of the International Leadership Institute of Sigma Theta Tau International. Currently, Mary Rita serves as the Executive Director of the Oregon Center for Nursing.

Mary Rita’s professional career has been dedicated to improving the health and health care of older adults. She has extensive experience in gerontology and managing the oversight of long term care and senior housing facilities in both urban and rural settings throughout the United States. She continues to provide consultation to the long term care and senior housing industry, focusing on regulatory compliance, policy and procedure development, nursing operations and leadership/mentoring strategies for department directors. Enhancing the leadership skills of nurses at every level of practice is a key focus of Mary Rita’s current work. Mary Rita is recognized nationally and internationally as a speaker and author on leadership and long term care operations. She serves on the Oregon Health Policy Research Workforce Committee and was recently appointed to the Governor’s Commission for Senior Services in Oregon.

Past President

Amy is a dually certified Gerontological and Family Nurse Practitioner as well as the Director of Operations for Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems Continuum of Care in Bangor, Maine. Her clinical areas of interest are dementia assessment, evidence-based practice in older adult health care and eliminating errors/promoting safe health care with older adult populations. Amy has been an NGNA member since 1994 and served locally and nationally, as the founding President of the Eastern Maine Chapter of NGNA chartered in 2002 and as the NGNA Board Treasurer from 2004 – 2008. Amy was awarded the Sigma Theta Tau International, Honor Society of Nursing’s inaugural Geriatric Nursing Leadership in 2009. Amy is a graduate of the University of Maine, the University of Southern Maine and currently is a doctoral candidate at the University of Maine in Orono. She has lived in an inter-general home for the last 12 years with her parents and family. She attributes her real world knowledge of aging to this profound privilege and life changing experience. Amy’s personal credo is “To value aging is to improve lives.”

Jean M. Gaines, PhD, RN, FNGNA
Treasurer 2010-2012

Jean is a research analyst working for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation. Jean is a member of the MD/DC Chapter of NGNA. Jean attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Bowie State University in Maryland and earned her doctorate from the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.

Melodee Harris
, Ph.D., APN, GNP-BC

Dr. Melodee Harris is an Associate Professor at Harding University Carr College of Nursing. She is a board certified gerontological nurse practitioner with a practice in rural Arkansas nursing homes. Dr. Harris is a John A. Hartford 2007-2009 BAGNC Scholar. Her research interests are massage, dementia, sleep, cardiology, and faith-based care in the nursing home. Dr. Harris is a founding member and President of the Arkansas Chapter of the National Gerontological Nursing Association.

Elizabeth "Ibby" Tanner, Ph.D., RN, FNGNA

Elizabeth “Ibby” Tanner, PhD, RN is an Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing with a joint appointment in the School of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine and Geronotology and Center on Aging and Health (COAH). She is a clinical nurse specialist and gerontologist who teaches gerontological nursing at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels, practices as a geriatric care manager and conducts community-based research with a focus on at-risk older adults and interventions to maintain and promote health and independence, particularly in home and community settings. Her research has also included the study of a geriatric transitional care model and the impact on outcomes of hospitalized frail older adults. Dr. Tanner has contributed to the AACN/HIGN Recommended Baccalaureate Competencies and Curricular Guidelines for the Nursing Care of Older Adults, and has worked on gerontological nursing curriculum and encouraged student interest in the field of gerontological nursing for 2 decades. She advocates for services for older adults, serving as a member of the Commission on Aging for Baltimore City and board of directions for a low-income housing complex. She also provides consultation on evidence-based care guidelines for older adults and/or research in China, Germany and Australia.