Geriatric and psychiatric nursing have lost a valued contributor, and many of us in those professions have lost a great friend and esteemed colleague with the passing of Dr. Lore K. Wright, Professor and Chair of the Department of Mental Health/Psychiatric Nursing, School of Nursing, Medical College of Georgia. Dr. Wright died January 13, 2001 in Augusta, Georgia. Dr. Wright was a native of Kolberg, Germany and received her diploma in nursing from Stockton and Thornaby Hospital School of Nursing, England. She received her bachelor degree from Western Michigan University, master's from Wayne State University, and doctorate from the University of Georgia. She completed post-doctoral training at Duke University. Dr. Wright was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 1999 and was a member of Sigma Thêta Tau, International, and the Gerontological Society of America.
Dr. Wright's professional contributions have focused on meeting the needs of older adults afflicted with dementia and their families. Her research-based book, Alzheimer's Disease and Marriage: An Intimate Account (1993), included intervention guidelines for professionals and family caregivers. Her contributions have been definitive in the area of caregiving, generating new knowledge over the past quarter century. She published numerous theoretical and empirical articles in professional and lay journals as well as chapters in textbooks. Dr. Wright's work has farreaching positive implications for clients and their families.
Dr. Wright was funded by both public and private agencies. Her program of research evolved into the conceptual development and empirical testing of "Telehealth" interventions by advanced practice nurses. Her work was recognized by the American Nurses Association, Council of Nurse Researchers with the "Outstanding New Investigator Award," the Southern Nursing Research Society with the "D. Jean Wood Award for Nursing Scholarship," and the Medical College of Georgia with the **E. Louise Grant Scholar Award." Over the years, Dr. Wright extended her sphere of influence from her own clients and professionals to national and international authences. She developed Web sites as well as radio and television programs to inform and educate the lay public. On a local level, she was an active member of the educational committee of the Alzheimer's Association and conducted workshops and numerous caregiver support groups.
Dr. Wright served as a teacher and mentor to many. She was a stellar researcher and teacher, yet she continued to maintain clinical skills and took a leadership role in mental health psychiatric nursing. She is warmly remembered for her favorite saying attributed to Hildegard Peplau: "The roJe of the psychiatric clinical nurse specialist is to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable."
Dr. Wright held leadership positions in numerous mukidisciplinary professional groups and was recognized both outside and inside her profession as a teacher with vision, one who was knowledgeable and futuristic and could articulate that vision and inspire others. Dr. Wright was also a tireless advocate for nursing as well as underserved populations. She was a joy to collaborate with, as she always did more than her "fair share" on any joint project or publication. She is survived by her husband, W! Victor Wright; a son, Alex Wright of Philadelphia; and three brothers, Hans Gerner of Atlanta, GA, and Jürgen and Fritz Gerner of Germany. Lore, your many friends and colleagues will miss you deeply.
- Wright, L.K. (1993). Alzheimer's disease and marriage: An intimate account. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.