2017 Blog Update, Happy New Year!

February 2017

It has been a long time since I have written to all of you who are interested in me and read my work on my website. I hope that you all had a very blessed and successful 2016. I wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day, 2017.

I have had a busy 2016. I am continuing on the faculty at Florida Atlantic University, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, in Boca Raton, Florida guiding some PhD students in caring science, guest teaching on transcultural caring, giving the Convocation address, and also presenting at different venues in the United States and other countries. I appreciate my faculty friends and enjoy our friendship and the scholarly and friendly activities in which we participate.

In November, I was fortunate to be invited to speak at the Universities of Aalborg and Arhus, Denmark, and at Diakonova University in Oslo, Norway. I had the opportunity to visit with my good friends and scholars and their families, Dr. Charlotte Delmar from Denmark and Dr. Mary Kalfoss from Norway. It was a special experience for me since the scholars of the Scandinavia also advanced “caring” in Nordic countries and in many parts of Europe and North America.

My Transcultural Caring Dynamics in Nursing and Health Care, 2nd edition was published in 2016 by F. A. Davis Company. It has an expanded cultural theory (Ray’s Transcultural Caring Dynamics in Nursing and Health Care theory), and addressed religious/spiritual, ethical, infectious disease, geopolitical perspectives with additional chapters from scholars in Africa, Japan, Denmark, the Philippines, Thailand, Haiti, Muslim religion in the United States, the United Nations and the recognition of the universality of caring by my colleague, Marian Turkel.

More on the scholarly front: My Theory of Bureaucratic Caring (BCT) is being used extensively in universities and practice for theory guided education, research, administration, and practice. One area that I am so overjoyed to learn about and offer consultation is that the BCT is being used as the structural framework for the new United States Air Force (USAF), Medical Service Interdisciplinary Professional Practice Model, the primary care model, and the new Spiritual Caring model under the direction of Major General Dorothy Hogg, USAF Chief of Nursing, and the leadership of Colonel (Dr.) Marcia Potter, USAF, Nurse Corps. We will be presenting these new initiatives in 2017 at the National Academies of Practice Forum (PA), the Society for Applied Anthropology conference (NM), and military venues. I will also be updating the chapter on The Theory of Bureaucratic Caring in the 4th edition of the Liehr and Smith book, Middle Range Theory for Nursing in 2017. I will be addressing the interrelationship between middle range theory (theories that address issues in healthcare and nursing practice) and universal theory (caring as a universal dimension in the world)—the holographic perspective.

The International Association for Human Caring (IAHC) conference in Boston last year was a time when the Rogerian Society and the IAHC scholars came together to address how Unitary Science and Caring Science come together to address the philosophical, epistemological, aesthetic and praxis dimensions of theory development and dissemination. Also, as a member of the Theory Guided Practice Expert Panel of the American Academy of Nursing, we are addressing how caring theory is being adopted and disseminated to improve education, practice, research, administration and policy in nursing and healthcare. As the primary policy group of nurses in the United States, we are supporting policies that have been established to improve healthcare for people in the United States and around the world by addressing the right to healthcare, equal access to care and comprehensibility of health care and its dissemination, especially by professional nurses. William Rosa and Drs. Watson, Horton-Deutsch, Smith, Turkel, and I with Grissel Hernandez, as editors of many chapters by other authors are working on a new book, The Handbook of Caring Science: Expanding the Paradigm which we hope will be published by Springer early in 2018.

In London, at the University of London, UK in September 2016, I received a prestigious tribute, the Honorary Distinguished Fellowship of the European Society for Person-Centered Healthcare (ESPCH) for excellence in person-centered healthcare. My sister, Pat went with me and we had such an exhilarating time with the leaders of the ESPCH, Sir Jonathan Asbridge, Dr. Andrew Miles and the other board members. We enjoyed seeing the sights of London, including the state rooms and garden of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth’s, Buckingham Palace, high tea, the Florence Nightingale Museum and St. Thomas Hospital, the Churchill War Rooms and also attended a Latin Mass with Dr. Miles at the famous Brompton Oratory in Knightsbridge, London.

Also, in 2017, I have received other awards, the Life Time Achievement award from Marquis, Who’s Who for many years in Who’s Who in America, Human Services Professionals, Nursing, Medicine and Healthcare, American Women, the South and Southwest, and Who’s Who in the World. I also received the Humanitarian Award from Who’s Who for my service to the United States Air Force. All this recognition certainly fosters humility and gratitude in me for the many years that I have been able to serve my profession.

In April, 2016, I visited Brazil for the wedding of my friends’ son, Daniel de Botelho and his bride, Rafaela in San Carlos. What a beautiful wedding and venue—their Chapel of the Angels and also the “second” ceremony at their plantation where coffee used to be harvested. I also had the privilege of visiting Father Dan McLaughlin, a Maryknoll missionary in Perus, near Sao Paulo, who married my late husband, Jim and me in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1979. Father serves the poorest of the poor in Brazil and has been there for over 30 years. So there was quite a contrast between the wedding venue and Perus—experiencing two cultures and ways of being and living. In April, I visited friends in Minneapolis, MN, and attended the confirmation of my first and only Godson, Steven Barnier. (He is interested in attending the USAF Academy in Colorado Springs for his college and commission into the USAF.) I was so happy to see the Joan and Fran Hanson and Barnier families (his grandparents). The Hansons are my good friends and encouraged me during my doctoral student years in Salt Lake City.

I attended a pilgrimage to Italy in June with the Women in the New Evangelization group under the directorship of my adopted “Goddaughter,” Kelly Wahlquist. It was a special spiritual experience with 28 women visiting all the women’s shrines/monasteries of old from Rome to Assisi. We had on board, Teresa Tomeo from EWTN, an archaeologist as our tour director, and Joan Lewis, EWTN reporter on Vatican news, and Dr. Liz Lev, a scholar of Vatican and Church art while we were in Rome. As a spiritual and scholarly experience, we culminated the Pilgrimage carrying our cross through the Holy Door of Mercy of St. Peter’s Basilica and had a visit to the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museum. We also attended a special Mass said for us.

I was fortunate to visit with my family many times during 2016. My sister, Mary who has been suffering from Lymphoma had some treatments during the year but toward the end of 2016, she has been in remission. She has gained strength and has been doing so well, speaking at church and enjoying her book club and visiting her friends and our family for different activities, such as, the baptism of our grandnephew with a mini family reunion in Toronto. I also visited in Montreal with my sister Pat and her husband, Doug for the Christmas season. We had such a wonderful time enjoying a white Christmas with her children and grandchildren and also enjoying the sites of the famous St. Joseph Oratory—seeing the many Christmas crèches from around the world, “old” Montreal, the market, and going to a party or having one, and also, attending the Nutcracker Ballet at Place des Art.

Other highlights: I sold my family villa in Boca Raton, FL in May 2016. My family were going to other places for vacation so it was time to let go of the lovely little place in Mizner Pointe. Also, I attended the wedding of my good friend, Colonel (Ret.) (Dr.) Mona Pearl to Charlie Treyball, in Maine. We enjoyed seeing the beautiful sights and changing leaf colors of Maine in the fall. I especially enjoyed seeing my friends from California—the “California girls” as we call ourselves. Charlie is ill now suffering from cancer and receiving treatment at Dana Faber in Boston. I wish him and Mona many good wishes and love.

My life is very rich with both profound academic and personal experiences. I appreciate my health and thank God everyday so that I can accomplish as much as I do on a daily and yearly basis. I am open to your thoughts and ideas about my Theory of Bureaucratic Caring and my Transcultural Caring Dynamics in Nursing and Healthcare Theory. In nursing, we are committed to theory guided research and practice (praxis) and given the guidelines from the Magnet organization for excellence in nursing and healthcare organizations, theories or conceptual frameworks are mandated. Those of us who are committed to caring science appreciate when caring theories are selected to guide practice in complex healthcare organizations. The IAHC conference on love and compassion is in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada this May-June, 2017. I hope to see you there. We will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the nation of Canada too.

Love and many blessings,

Marilyn Dee Ray