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SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
Nursing Oral History
Introduce Self 3821 NW 35th P1, 375-4407
Introduce interviewee Gnv 32606
Raised where? [La Porte City, Iowa-small town; raised with sibs?] [emphasis on good grades?]
Did you have a job as you grew up?
When did you decide to become a nurse?
What was your maiden name? [Fosse]
Where did you go to nursing school? [Univ. Of Texas, Galveston, 1945] [with the Cadet
How old were you? [16-17]
Was it difficult to leave home and family?
Did you have to repay your education?
What else did you learn as your first experience away from home? [Homesick? Different cultural
mix, racial attitudes, economic differences?]
Was the cultural diversity a new experience for you?
What are your first memories of your nursing education?
What was the state of the nursing art, when you were a student? [Duties of the nurse; hours of
the student; live in the dorm; uniform policies; curfew]
Did you like the intellectual pursuits of the classroom?
Did you enjoy the direct patient care?
How was the University of Texas combining a BSN with the remnants of the diploma education?
What did you do for fun when you were a student?
Did you form any lasting relationships from Galveston?
When did you graduate from UT?
What did you do after graduating with your BSN in 1948? [worked a year in Galveston]
What are your lasting memories of your time in Galveston?
When you returned to University of Iowa in 1951, where did you work? [ BA-in hard sciences]
What years were those like for you? [1949-1952; Psych nurse, med-surg, dorm counselor,
Are those specialties at opposite poles: operating room and psych?
Which attracted you more?
Were you happy to be closer to family?
What drew you to go to Chicago [?1952?] ? [University of Chicago, Michael Reese, Billings]
Did you meet your husband in Chicago?
How old were you when you married?
When were your children born? Names?
In your previous interview in 1992, you mentioned taking your children to the zoo every Sunday
during the time you were working on your doctoral research at the University of Chicago.
How do your children remember that time?
During you time in the doctoral program in Chicago, was there a women's movement beginning
on campus or in the city?
Do you recall female physicians and male RN beginning to emerge? Attitudes?
In your previous interview, you mentioned having cancer in the last year of study? Did you have
Tell me about the position offered to you by the University of Illinois, after you finished your
Was it during your time at the University of Illinois that you began your international interests?
COMING TO FLORIDA
How were you contacted about the deanship at the University of Florida?
When did you come to Florida to join the Nursing faculty? 
What had you known about Dorothy Smith, the founding Dean?
About Blanche Urey?
When you became dean at UF, what were the issues that you saw to be addressed?
What was the state of the research program when you arrived?
When you arrived in Florida, what was the progress of the associate degree programs?
What impact do you think that has had on nursing and health care?
Did you continue you nursing interests overseas?
Am I correct that you were Dean at UF from 1980 to 1995?
What were the social issues that were different in Gainesville from Chicago? Such as racial
issues, women's issues.
What was the state of the traditionally educated, diploma nurses?
How did the adjustment to Gainesville go with your husband and your children? [daughter is
MD; son is ?]
Was your health stable at this time?
How you find the nursing practice and nursing education relationship working at Shands?
What have your heard about the success of the faculty practice model?
After ten years since you left the deanship, what was the most fulfilling part of your tenure?
Do you still teach some classes?
Your nursing colleagues who had an impact on you?
How have the levels of education and practice changed over the course of your career?
You seem to me to epitomize the life-long learner? What was the most reward part of your
What do you think are your lasting legacies to the College of Nursing?
Are there issues that I have overlooked that you think are important to include?
S: Today is June 20, 2005, and my name is Ann Smith. I represent the Samuel
Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida. I am here in the home
of Lois Malasanos who is the former dean of the College of Nursing at the
University of Florida.
Thank you, Lois, for agreeing to do this since you have a previous interview on
file from some years ago. Let=s start with the question of where you were born?
M: I was born in a very small town called LaPorte City, Iowa. They said it had a
population between 3000 and 4000. I think they exaggerated. At any rate, it was
in northeastern Iowa and it was an area that had primarily German, Swedish, and
Norwegian immigrants, first and second generation. There were not as many
Swedish people. If you weren=t one of those three categories, you were
considered a foreigner.
S: When were you born?
S: Were you raised in La Porte City?
M: Yes, for part of my life. My mother and father were divorced when I was about
two and one-half-years old. After some court battles, and I don=t know the exact
nature of those, we were with my grandparents until I was in third grade. So, my
grandfather, who was a German farmer had his huge farm and couldn't get his
sons interested in it but he couldn't give it up altogether. So, he had bought
twenty-four acres and we called it his arc. He had two horses, two cows, two of
everything on this farm. At any rate, it was a wonderful place to grow up. I would
never have seen Mulberry trees. He had two of every kind of tree that he had
S: And this is your grandfather?
M: He was my grandfather, and a very important person in my life. We lived there
with three aunts and two uncles, so that was like having seven parents. Then,
when my mother got herself back together again, we moved to this town, called
Waterloo, Iowa. Waterloo has about 150,000 people and I lived there through
S: Did you have siblings?
M: I have a sister who is a year older than I am.
S: Was she raised with you on the farm?
UFCN-19, Malasanos, Page 2
M: Yes, the whole thing. It is probably not right to call it a farm because it was
within the town limits. It felt like it.
S: It certainly sounds semi-rural.
M: Right. I would never have seen chickens prepared for eating and that sort of
S: What was your maiden name, Lois?
M: Fosse as in the choreographer [Bob Fosse].
S: When you were growing up, did you have any idea that you would want to be in
M: I had no idea. I had an uncle who, in second grade, sat me down and said to
me, school is work and you are not working. I think he was dating my teacher; I
don=t know. It was then that I decided that I can=t have this happen again. So, I
did extremely well in school after that. At any rate, I graduated at [age] sixteen
but I had no idea in the world what I wanted to do except I wanted to go to
college. I had worked since I was ten at various jobs and I had enough money
saved for one year in college. In my senior year in high school in chemistry--four
of us were given an unknown. I had guys who always wanted to work with me in
chemistry because I was doing well. We were kind of smartalecky. We pretty
soon discovered it wasn=t an inorganic [substance] which was the chemistry
class we were taking. We said, this is going to take longer than we thought; why
don=t we come up here at noon and we will do this? [This was] absolutely
against the rules since there was nobody there to supervise. So, at any rate, we
were working back to back, two on this side and two on that side. And one of the
guys said, Lois, smell this. I think it is an ester. And so I turned around and it
bumped up in my face. It had sulfuric acid in it. Now, all I could see was that my
clothes were dissolving. One boy was smart enough to put my head under a
water spigot. If it had not been for that, I think I would have been badly scarred.
My face was badly burned and I had to see the family physician. He was an
unusual man; he worked on the Project Hope boat. He was really just a fine
fellow. He was the one who first said to me, you ought to go into nursing. He
said, you may or may not like nursing but the government is paying for it. At any
rate, I had to go to the doctors office every day for about a month. So, finally I
said, I will look into it. He did the research for me. That is how I got into nursing.
S: What kind of jobs did you do when you were growing up?
M: Clerical, before we had computers, [there were] these calculators. I did that and I
worked--at a variety of things: as an usherette in a theater. I got to meet Frank
UFCN-19, Malasanos, Page 3
Sinatra and people like that.
S: Did you do that because you needed to help out at home or because you wanted
M: I wasn=t helping; I was helping myself. The other thing that I did was babysitting.
So I had a job taking care of this little boy in the morning. I got out of school
early because I got good grades. So, I went and did my thing with the calculator
and then to the theater as usherette.
S: You sound so industrious.
M: Well, it probably kept me out of trouble. We had lots of things we did. I was a
cheerleader in high school. Also, there was a phenomenon that I don=t know
existed any place else in the country. This was the big band era with bands like
Stan Kenton and Tommy Dorsey. They had built a facility especially for that in
Waterloo. Four nights a week, people came from all over the state. We were
there every night it was open, my sister and I. You wonder how you could stay
perfectly innocent but we were interested in the dance. We went together; we
came home together. It worked out for us. It was a good variety of experiences
in growing up.
S: When you graduated at such an early age, how did you choose a program for
M: Well, the Cadet Nurse Corps would admit younger students only in four states
and this fine physician said that he would change my physical to say that I was
seventeen but no older. So, pick a state where they would take you at
seventeen. It was New York, Mississippi, Massachusetts, and Texas. I picked
Texas; I don=t know why. But it was a good choice.
S: So, you entered as a fifteen or sixteen-year-old?
M: I had just turned sixteen a few days after I got there.
S: For those who have never heard of the Nurse Cadet Corps, a young woman
would sign up, the government would pay for education, and in return ... ?
M: They gave you room and board; they paid for your room and board. They paid
for your tuition. Then, when you finished, you owed them. As long as there was
any kind of conflagration or war going on, they put you wherever they wanted. I
never had to go into active duty, but they would call me from time to time saying,
will you do this if we need you? The last time they called me was in 1965. There
was a problem in Egypt. You know, what are you going to say? Sure. But it
never materialized so I didn't have to go.
UFCN-19, Malasanos, Page 4
S: Was that just to put you on alert?
M: Yes. The other option was to work in a Federal Facility or academic health
center. Actually I was privileged to serve in six: University of Iowa, University of
Chicago, Michael Reese Health Center, Weiss Memorial Health Center, Loyola
University, University of Florida. Recently, they declared us veterans. Can you
believe that? Interesting.
S: Is this a lifelong commitment?
M: No, it is not a life commitment. It was only a commitment for a year after going
in. But as a volunteer, they could ask you to do it. And you felt you owed them.
Oh, and I forgot to tell you about this--they gave you $15 a month and $30 in the
last six months.
S: It must have seemed more back then.
M: Well, not a whole lot more. At any rate, to get there from Iowa, I had to take a
train that went to Houston. Then, I took a bus. This trip took twenty-four hours. I
remember standing there in the sunshine and saying to myself, you had better do
well here; you are not going back. It was a long way to come. But it was a good
S: How did you do with such a different climate?
M: I like the warm so it was no problem. I don=t like 95 degrees like it is here today.
S: The school there was the University of Texas, is that correct?
M: Yes, the Medical Branch, at Galveston.
S: So, what year did you arrive?
M: I started in 1945 and finished in 1948. I stayed for a year since I was not old
enough to be licensed in Iowa--taking the exam in Texas and license. So, I
worked there for a year after I finished.
S: As such a young person, was that kind of education a lot to absorb?
M: You know, every day was exciting. You never knew what was going to happen
next. I think at that time of your life, you are wide-eyed and want to learn
everything. The teaching wasn=t as good as it could have been, though it was
probably the best in the country at that time. They had plenty of money to hire
the right kind of people. But at any rate, I spent a lot of time at the medical
library. I would see something and I would have to go look it up before I went
back to work the next day. Everybody was older; everybody tried to teach me
UFCN-19, Malasanos, Page 5
something. That was wonderful. There were physicians from all over the country
"""""""""who were working there and also medical students. There was a
large group of Jewish doctors there because they couldn't get into medical
school in the East, especially the Northeast--my first experience with anti-
Semitism. So, there was a lot of staff from New York, Massachusetts, and New
Jersey. Somehow or other, I got to be good friends with them and they have a
built-in Aif-you-are-educable-we-want-to-help-you@ view. So, they were really
very good. There was a guy who lived next door to me whose mother came to
medical school with him and who had a Great Dane who became my great
friend. Yes, I walked that dog, or maybe he walked me, and one day he dragged
me through a parking lot. He got a little excited. Everybody that I met was
friendly. I don=t think I had any ugly experiences.
One of the things that happened while I was here--and this is one of the
things that made the news all over the worldBwas called the Texas City
explosion. [Texas City Disaster, April 16, 1947, see information file.] At the time
of the Texas City Explosion, I was working in the surgical clinic. I had my
surgical and medical experience. They sent you there because you could be
helpful in that experience. We started getting the patients in from Texas City.
We got 500 the first day. Then, the second day, they said, we need help in the
operating room. In the operating room was one of those scenes you just cannot
believe. They were operating on five patients at the same time in the same room
with the same set of instruments. But, they had no choice; they had to do this in
such a massive emergency.
S: This was lifesaving.
M: You see these things and it never becomes Awell, maybe.@ On the third day,
they started getting some gas-gangrene [tissue necrosis caused by infection] and
that was all amputations. So they just sent you there. In surgical clinic, a guy I
had been working with couldn't keep up with what was coming in. He said,
AYou just saw me do that. You do that one.@ It was another situation of no
choice. It has to be done.
S: And you were how old, now?
M: Seventeen. The other thing that happened was, in the wake of these disasters,
there was a lot of infectious disease. So we saw a lot of that. On the fourth
morning, I had symptoms of mumps. Now, I had not been to sleep in this whole
time. I was relieved.
S: Yes, I can imagine. You could lie down.
M: As part of this infectious disease, there was also an outbreak of polio. We got a
lot of those patients, and some were doctorsBmany who had to be in respirators
UFCN-19, Malasanos, Page 6
at the time. I got a bad impression of the Red Cross from that experience. They
passed out coffee. You would have thought they would send professionals
because they certainly needed that. But that didn't happen. But that is a book
in itself. The first day [of the Texas Disaster], a ship blew up in the harbor and
the cargo was sulfate. That was the damage that was done then. Then, the
reason we kept getting patients is that as people would go to see this, there
would be more minor explosions and they would get hurt. Then, the fire went
underground and it was blowing up the oil storage facilities there. It finally went
to Monsanto and blew up Monsanto Chemical Company. After four days, it
settled down. It was one of those things. It was tragic and a fantastic learning
experience. Too bad it had to happen but you learn a lot from those kinds of
S: They must have been working on that crisis for months afterwards.
M: Oh, absolutely.
S: It was leveled, wasn=t it?
M: It was ten miles from the university but you could see, if you were outside, the
smoke and the fire rising in the air. There was that much of it. But the school, at
the time, was probably one of the best in the country. Texas didn't have all of
the medical and nursing schools they have now. They put a lot of money into
trying to keep it the best. And it is, now, incredibly well endowed, both the
medical school and the nursing school. So, that if they have the right people,
they can do wonderful things. Billye Brown was an instructor there. I don=t
know whether you know that. LaVerne Gallman was there. [Dr. LaVerne
Gallman, served in many administrative capacities after her 1975 appointment to
the School of Nursing faculty, University of Texas, retired as Professor Emeritus
in 1992.] I am trying to remember somebody else you may have known. Now,
time-wise, they came out after me, so they were not the ones who were my
instructors. The head of the program was a quite fantastic woman. But I would
say that a lot of the basic science classes were taught by doctors. The nursing
classes were taught by nurses. Nursing was just beginning to switch over to a
collegiate education for nurses.
S: Wasn=t this just the beginning of the era where nursing was moving into the
M: UT was pretty well established from the 1890 so they really believed in that.
S: So, Galveston had been doing this in a collegiate setting for a long time?
M: They were doing it in a collegiate manner. They were not giving a degree for it.
S: So, they still had a diploma?
M: They still had a diploma. In retrospect, after they saw all of these collegiate
programs, they said, we are doing that and if you want the degree, we will get it
for you. At any rate, I thought, a very good service. I think we were lucky too, as
UFCN-19, Malasanos, Page 7
these service men came back from the war and came to college, field physicians
taught us triage and first aid. They took us to the beach to teach us what
happens with water accidents. It was incredible--just a lucky place to be.
S: When you look back on the choices you made as a young person, what are your
M: When you take a look at your whole life, most of the choices are made for you.
And why did I say, yes.
S: How old were you when you graduated?
S: Did you feel like you were the youngest of your classmates?
M: No, because they did take other younger persons there. I was certainly not at
the top academically. There is a German section called Brownsville in Texas and
Brownsville is very close. We had three nurses in our class out of Brownsville
who had gone to school in Iowa and had gotten their undergraduate degrees in
Iowa. They were excellent students and German by heritage with the work ethic.
So, that was interesting. And the classes were small. But then, we also had this
beauty from Louisiana call Ina Claire Bourgeron. She was something, really
beautiful, but very smart.
S: How large was your class?
M: About thirty but they admitted four times a year.
S: Did you have time to be homesick or were you too wrapped up in what you were
M: I think that we were given an attitude by our grandparents and I am sure my
mother added to this--that you will never be a burden to your family. When you
grow up, you will be able to take care of yourself. You don=t have to get married
because you can do it, yourself. If you want to get married, you get married. But
you must have this absolute self-reliance, I think that is totally German. There
may be some genetic influence there, too. You don=t look back. This is what
you are doing. You make a choice to go somewhere else. Whatever you do, do
it. My sister, when she got married, came there on her honeymoon. My mother
came down when I graduated. I never expected that. That is a long way to
come. I went back to Iowa after I was old enough to get my license in Iowa. I
went back to do pre-med because medical students kept saying to me, you ought
to be a doctor; you ought to be a doctor. And I didn't know any better. So, I
went back and did pre-med at the University of Iowa.
S: What year was that?
M: I think it was 1949. I got admitted to the medical school in 1951. One of the
people who interviewed me is someone that I was working with every day. He is
a psychiatrist so you can understand this kind of conversation. AWhy do you
UFCN-19, Malasanos, Page 8
want to do this?@ AWell, I ... everybody tells me I ought to do this and it sounds
good to me. It sounds like a challenge.@ But he was saying, ABut I watch you
every day and you are happy doing what you do. Why do you want to change?
Let me tell you what it is like to be a physician.@ What he talked to me about was
that if you take a position, then you are there. It is not easy to move; it is not
easy to have time to do the things you want to do. At any rate, I didn't say then,
but I did say, give me some time to think it over. So I stayed at Iowa for another
year and if you will see [in my resume] I took a lot more courses than you usually
do. I had enough credits when I finished for a degree in Chemistry, Physics, and
mathematics, three things. They said to me to take a degree called a bachelor=s
degree in general science that would alert people that it was more than one
discipline. Nobody, since then, knows what that means. Again, the side
experiences--I fell in with this group of people who were English majors or
literature majors. Now, this was an entirely different group of people to me.
They taught me a lot. It was good.
S: Were they just social friends?
M: They were in the dormitory that I was living in. One was a roommate. I started
dating some of these people.
S: What dormitory were you in?
M: It was a house. I shouldn't call it a dormitory; that was nursing school. I worked
at the University of Iowa in Psych and the operating room at the same time. We
got a lot of young people--students--there but I don=t think any of them were
students that I met there. I think I met them all just in classes and that sort of
S: By some definitions, psych nursing and operating room nursing are two ends of a
M: As students, we had a chance to choose two disciplines at the end of planned
rotations to go back to, and those are the ones that I went back to. Well, you
know, when you hear about the job I took when I went to Chicago, you may
understand this, too. Working in the operating room is working with a group of
people who may have problems. And trying to understand some of these
problems makes you want to have as much psych as you can have. I will just
skip ahead to when I went to Chicago, I went to Michael Reese Hospital because
all of my Jewish friends had said that was the best place in Chicago. I went there
and this woman interviewed me. They had a nursing school--well respected. I
had put all of my stuff in front of her and she was reading it all. She said, I have
this job for which I want you. She said, I want you to work in the operating room.
We have a lot of problems with our surgeons. Big secret. What I want you to do
is, whenever there is a problem, to go and try to settle it so working nurses don=t
have to get involved. You will circulate and do all of those things but you won=t
scrub because I want you to be free to move where there are problems. So, I
said, look how old I am. They are not going to take me seriously. She said, that
is the job. If you want it, you got it. So, I thought it over for about two days and
then took the job. And again, that was another learning phase--how do you get
along with people? One of the things that I learned is you have to get along
UFCN-19, Malasanos, Page 9
because otherwise you are arguing with their pride. He can=t have this woman
telling him what to do. So, my attitude was, whatever you have to do to fix the
problem right now, do it. Then, wait for him in the locker room because in the
locker room, it is costing him money. They need to get their clothes changed and
get to the office as soon as possible and they will talk. They will even promise
that they will never do that again. It was just crazy stuff.
S: What kinds of problems were there?
M: Well, I will give you a couple of them. I walked in one morning and here is this
surgeon chasing a nurse around the room who is scrubbed with her gloved
hands up in the air. There is nothing else she can do. You know, what do you
do about something like that? You say, please don=t do that. She has things
she has to do to get this case ready for you. Then, later you go down and you
say, that is sexual harassment. Here is a real, sexual harassment one. The
chief of surgery had a game wherein he would drop his scrub pants and then the
circulating nurse would have to put them back up and tie them. The nurses were
getting really sick of this. So, they said to me, do this. So, I told them to assign
me to circulate; that is the only way I can do this. Before we started, I went up
behind him and said, now, if you drop your scrub pants today, they are going to
stay there. So, he figured he would drop them. So, I walked over to him and
said, you know, if I were you, I would step out of them so you don=t trip. So you
know, the surgical gown is all open down the back. He was no problem after
that. He realized that people really hated it. He just thought he was being cute.
Then, we had a guy that threw the last drill we had up against the wall and broke
it. You say [to him] you know, you really shouldn't have done that. We might
have been able to fix that. But now, we have to send to V. Mueller [manufacturer
of surgical instruments, North Chicago] and you know where that is. It is way out
in the northern suburbs. There is nothing for you to do but wait until we get it. I
said, maybe University of Chicago has one we could borrow.
S: They don=t understand the logistics of the support team for their cases.
M: I am the king. Why is this happening to me? I had one wherein a surgeon said
to me, I have to get to my office. I have to get to my office right now--work with
me and you finish this case. [Malasanos speaking] Tell your resident to finish the
case. And he [the surgeon] is gone. He just walked out. So, the resident said, I
don=t know how. So, I said, well, I know how but at least it has to look like you
did this. We will do it together. Where would you get that kind of experience?
S: It sounds like it was a function of the times before there would have been
professional activities committees with any teeth.
M: And when they are good, you really hate to do them.
S: How long did you hold that job?
M: Eight years. And then, I was working part-time at University of Chicago, four
days a week, evenings, and on weekends, on what is called the Private Division.
That is where the rich and famous go for their care. That was another valuable
UFCN-19, Malasanos, Page 10
S: What were you doing there?
M: Staff nursing, evenings.
S: Was this a medical unit or a surgical unit?
M: Medical. Adult. I don=t know why I was so lucky but it was good. Maybe at the
time, I wouldn't have said so. But I look back at the kinds of experiences I had.
I took care of Mahalia Jackson [1911-1972, known as America=s greatest
gospel singer], maybe three times; [I] got to watch how she changed with fame. I
worked with this guy [physician] who specialized in Crohn=s Disease and knew
more about irritable bowel syndrome than anybody else knew. I worked with a
woman whose husband owned so many steel plants they didn't know how much
money she had. She was the sweetest, nicest thing. You could see the
differences in personality that went with the diseases, especially GI
[gastrointestinal] diseases. There were a lot of doctors on that floor as patients.
S: Did you meet your husband when you were in Chicago?
M: I had two husbands. I don=t even think we need to talk about the first one. We
can if you want to. He was a really bright guy. He had just quit West Point
Academy [U.S. Military Academy, New York] and when he went in, he had the
highest scores anybody ever had there. So, he came back home to Iowa and
was trying to work through >why did I do this-kind of thing?= He was bright,
funny, and in great need of psychiatric help. We moved to Chicago and did get
him through psychoanalysis and afterwards. We got him through Northwestern
[Evanston, Illinois]. He became an actuarial and later was a labor leader for
United Airlines. In the end, we couldn't get accustomed to each other. The
second man I married (pretty soon after that) was working in the operating rooms
at Michael Reese Hospital. That first marriage was over for a while. My attitude
toward him was, you cannot do this. The surgeons were teaching him to be a
resident. Then, he was doing resident work the whole time. So, they were
saying, well, if you don=t teach him, we will. I said, I will teach him sterile
technique but you teach him the procedures.
S: He hadn=t been to medical school?
M: No. He asked me to do a favor for him one time. And as part of doing a favor for
him, I got to know him better. His father is Greek. That is a long story, too, he
might be Turkish. His father came here when he was twelve. He was brought by
UFCN-19, Malasanos, Page 11
two uncles and he didn't like the way they were treating him. The father was in
charge of two islands in the Mediterranean. He had given him money and the
uncles took it. He said he couldn't even eat except for bananas. It was the only
English word he knew. He made his way down to Alabama and then down to
Naples [mid-Florida community on the Gulf of Mexico]. He dove for sponges.
Then, he joined the U. S. Army at fifteen. He was twelve when he came [to the
USA]. He went through every battle in the first World War. He came back and
he was assigned as an adjutant to a general who went to the Philippines and
then came back to Pennsylvania, where the uncles were. I don=t know if that
was out of curiosity or what because he was very angry with them. They had
restaurants; wouldn't you guess? He learned to be a chef and that is how we
knew him. He was a chef in Chicago. He was a chef who worked if he thought
everybody loved him and his food. If you didn't, he was out of there as a matter
of pride. His family had four children. The mother was middle-European and I
am never quite sure [exactly where she was from] but I think either Austria or
southern Poland. The father was the dominant force in that family. The boys are
funny and they are smart. The daughter is smart and they all look Greek.
At any rate, we were married twenty-seven years and then he died here,
in Gainesville, you know. He died of Hepatitis B liver failure here. Sorry to see
that happen. He became a businessman. I don=t know the things that he did.
In Chicago he left the operating room and somebody offered him a job in
pharmaceuticals. Eventually, he ended up managing one of the Merck facilities
[a pharmaceutical manufacturer based in New Jersey]. He and three friends built
a lab for making radioactive isotopes. He finally sold it to Merck. Then, I was
asked to come down here. He had lived in Chicago all of his life and was very
responsible to his parents. I didn't think he would leave. So, he said to me, no,
go ahead. We have invested so much in this site. It is never going to pay for
itself. I am ready to make a change. When he came down here, he ended up
buying beauty shops. He had one here, Daytona, and Orlando. His explanation:
I am a manager. He was a good guy.
S: Did he like the climate when he got here?
M: Well, he only lived four years that he was here. He was so busy getting his
business set up. I don=t think that was a priority.
S: Tell me how your invitation to Florida came about.
M: I was working at Michael Reese and University of Chicago. Then, I married John
and we were going to live in the northern part of Chicago. It was like, get a job.
A lot of the physicians I had known had opened a new hospital in Chicago called
Weiss Memorial and so I went to work at Weiss. [Michael A. Weiss Memorial
Hospital opened on the north side of Chicago in the summer of 1953.] While I
was at Weiss, people from Loyola came to me and said, please come to us. We
UFCN-19, Malasanos, Page 12
need you to work. I had gotten a masters degree in nursing, in the meantime,
from the University of Chicago. They had a nursing program at that time. They
insisted that you take the first year of the education major courses because they
thought that teaching was what most of these graduates would do. About
halfway through this program, maybe more, I went to this woman and I said, I
understand that you paid the way for most people to come here. Michael Reese
was paying my way. Why don=t you see if you can give me a grant? I would like
to stay another year. So, they did. I was able to take philosophy and
anthropology, neither of which I would have been able to take. When you are at
the University of Chicago, you want to do those things. When people ask about
the University of Chicago, I say, where else could you get a course in medieval
lute music? It was something special. I got that degree and the nursing faculty
were good in that they would use your background to enhance what you were
going to do or what you had done. So, I have no complaints about the program.
It was my choice to stay that extra year. I had a job right there at University of
Chicago. I stopped working at Michael Reese when I started the masters
program. Then, after that, I went to Weiss. By this time, we had one child and
were going to have another one. John would really rather I didn't work. So, I
didn't work for about two and a half years. Then, I went to Weiss and worked
again but they kept recruiting me from Loyola. Finally, I said, all right, I will try it.
Teaching can=t be all that bad.
S: Did they want you to teach in their undergraduate program?
M: Right. What that means, at Loyola is that you may be in a hospital ten miles from
the university. And I was. I was at a hospital called Resurrection Medical
Center. It was a good experience to learn what Catholic nursing was like. You
have got to be very impressed with some of the things they do--and then there
are restrictions. But it made you think about things. Is this right or wrong?
The next thing that happened was that the government was making
money available for the nurse scientist program. I applied and thought I would
study anatomy. That sounded fine to me. Somebody else had other ideas and
they got me to interview with this fellow in physiology, Sabath Marotta, mainly
because the director of the nursing program had worked with this man before.
She knew how good he was. He was an investigator who had an incredible
number of students and he was only going to take one. She pretty much
arranged the whole thing. She said, this is the person you want. Four years of--I
can=t say it was fun. But I learned a lot. He was determined, I think, to show
that nurses work very hard and that they can do good work.
S: He was determined to show this through you?
M: Well, through him. The way it was, we were there every morning at 7:00 and we
didn't finish before 5:00. Now, try to explain this to your family. And I lived out
in the suburbs. At any rate, we would operate all morning, he and I. This is the
UFCN-19, Malasanos, Page 13
scene. Here is this guy sitting across from me smoking a cigarette over this dog.
The first thing we have to do is set up a brain-irrigating, drainage system. We
were perfusing brains. We set this up first and then operated on the adrenal
[gland]. In the meantime we put in a few tubes here and there so the animal
received intravenous fluids. I know more about some things and he knows a lot
more about surgery around the adrenal. I might suggest, could we do this? The
thing we argued about most was sterile procedures in the operating room. This
was his attitude: when he finished with an instrument, he tossed it on the tray. I
would say, no, when you are finished with it, you put it here. Then, you know
where to reach. In that sense, that helped him. We worked together for four
years. Every Saturday, you came in for a session that went like this: he asked
you questions until you couldn't answer them anymore. Then, he said to you,
next Saturday, we will do the same thing. And you don=t have a choice. And
you have to come in for those sessions. One year in the lab, he had nine
students at that time, which is a lot for basic sciences. I watched how he treated
some of these people and I said to myself, he will never make me cry. Because
that is what I was watching. I remember one day. I was having problems with
the liquids responding erratically. I thought it was the solutions. So, before he
came, I made up a whole new set. That is an hour-long job. I tried it and it still
wasn=t working. Additionally, we made five gallons at a time.
S: What are the solutions?
M: These were to perfuse the brain. He picked it up and he said, this has got to be
it. This is it. He walked over and poured it down the sink. This is 3:00 in the
afternoon. He left and I was standing by the sink. I thought, I have five minutes
if I really need to cry. Then, get busy. I mean that he is the king; there is nothing
you can do about this. He makes the decision whether you are going to
graduate. He is the smartest guy in the department. People said things to us
like, if Sam says you are ready, you are ready. In retrospect, nobody could have
made me learn, so much, so fast, as he did. But he did things like have you
teach the residents. We taught the medical residents how to do procedures on
dogs. So, if you taught the medical students, you did fine. You would not
willingly expose yourself to that sort of thing.
S: What was his name?
M: Sam Maratta. Now, he is dead. In retrospect, we had probably learned to love
the guy. His students did a recognition for him. You know that he cried.
S: But he was tough.
M: Oh, he was tough. The last time I came back from here, we went to a restaurant
with my daughter, Toree. Toree knew him because she worked for one of the
researchers in the physiology department. So, she went to the party. We picked
UFCN-19, Malasanos, Page 14
the best Italian restaurant in Chicago. That was one thing he did for us as
students: he would take us--the whole group--to this Italian restaurant. He taught
us what to eat, Italian and that kind of thing. But, he was the sort of man, that
whatever he said, you are going to do this, you may as well do it. After you have
been there for a year or two, you would say, no way am I starting over again with
anybody. And you only have classes for about the first year and one-half. He is
the one who determines how many classes you have to take. So, he had you.
Oh, but he was brilliant. I use to sit there and say, (and I said this to the other
people working in the lab) he is either a frustrated priest or a surgeon. I am not
quite sure which he is.
[End of Tape 1, Side 1.]
M: I don=t ever remember having feelings that Al can=t go in there. There is no way
in the world that I can face him again.@ It was just [that I thought] this is not
going to be fun.
The other thing, you know, was that I had cancer in the last year that I was
in that lab. He made me take some time off. He said, AYou may not know you
need it but you do.@ And I was saying, now, wait just a minute. So, what did I do
but go over to Cook County Hospital and got a job teaching.
S: What year was that?
S: Did you know what you were going to do after you finished that degree?
M: What we knew, as students, was that everybody wanted us to teach for them
after we had been through this program. So, it wasn=t a problem. It was just a
matter of calling whoever it was and telling them that you were available. To tell
you the truth, if one looked around Chicago at that time, it would be hard to pick
one place. The nursing schools in Chicago weren=t all that advanced. I don=t
know why that is. Still, there was a hospital-school mentality, even at Loyola.
They were strong.
S: So, how did you reach Florida?
M: Florida got in touch with me. I took a job at the University of Illinois [Professor
and Associate Head General Nursing Department, 1973-1980] and worked there
for seven years and supervised about fifty-six faculty members. That was a good
S: Was that in a deanship?
M: No, it was department head of General Nursing which meant adult medical
UFCN-19, Malasanos, Page 15
surgical nursing. Part of my assignment was in cases in which if someone
doesn't show up, you go take their place. Think about it. It didn't happen very
often but it was kind of exciting. So, I got to meet the nuns at Cabrini. It was
very close to the university, about six blocks from the university.
S: Was this in Champaign, Illinois?
M: No, no, in Chicago. One of the nuns there decided she needed to adopt me as
well as one of my friends who was Italian. My friend was the one who was
assigned there. So, she was always coming with invitations from the nuns to do
this. So, what am I going to tell her? >No?= She has four units of our students
over there. I made friends in that way. The Veterans Hospital was right across
the street so we used that facility for students on clinical areas. The rest of it was
all University of Illinois Hospitals. So, those were good times.
S: Did you enjoy the experience of being a department head?
M: I will tell you this. It gave you opportunities that you wouldn't have had; you
mixed with people that you couldn't have mixed with otherwise. This was when I
started writing. I had the sense that I had to write. We wrote the first edition of
Health Assessment, [Malasanos, Barkauskas, Moss, & Stoltenberg-Allen, 1977]
during that period of time. As a matter of fact, we wrote the revision during that
time, too. You don=t think you can do this and then there are deadlines. I find
that I need a deadline and then I can do it. [laughing] It has to be ready by so-
and-so. You do it. We did this Health Assessment at a time when there were
nursing textbooks but there were medical textbooks out the kazoo. I thought we
could use cases and change them to make it right for nursing. Then, we were
the first ones who used pictures extensively. They had one woman in
Pennsylvania who had used drawings but we used the drawings and the
photography. So, getting to meet the people in the artistic realm and
photography was also a good experience.
S: Was that new knowledge for you?
M: No one had ever told me that it was a responsibility--something you need to do--
to share what you know. Then, one of the doctors at VA offered to let me do an
apprenticeship under him. That was good.
S: What was his field?
M: General medicine. Also, I had a lot of experience in emergency rooms and you
get a lot of assessment skills there. When we started in emergency rooms as
students in Texas, it was you [a nurse] and a resident. You were supposed to
have all patients interviewed, prepped, and ready to be seen so we didn't waste
the doctors time. The emergency room at the University of Texas got all kinds
UFCN-19, Malasanos, Page 16
of patients including the knife and gun club on Fridays and Saturdays. [Knife and
Gun Club is a term used for multiple traumatic injuries.] So, you saw a lot.
S: How was the experience working with a publisher and an editor?
M: It was really hard for us [as the authors] to believe that people were merely
interested in the holy dollar. And it is a fact. How they could see that the book
was going to be a winner, I don=t know.
S: I guess that is their expertise.
M: And I suppose they do some interviewing of people. [Saying to potential
customers:] Alf we had it, would you buy it?@
S: I think they know their markets and wouldn't make a commitment until they have
a buying public.
M: The fact is, when you think about it, it really doesn't cost them much. The only
thing is that they are going to share with you and the amount of sharing is ten per
S: When did you hear from Florida?
M: I was sitting in this position and I got a call from Will Deal. Do you remember Dr.
Will Deal? [At that time, Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean, College of
Medicine]. Will asked me if I would come down and interview. I said, I have no
real reason to leave and I don=t think my husband really wants to leave Chicago.
He said, why don=t you ask him and then get back to me. And I told you what
John said. I think I came to Florida alone the first time and went through the
interview process. I tell you. I don=t think anybody liked me very much. I don=t
know whether that is the case or it isn=t.
S: What was the interview process? Did you have interviews for a couple of days?
M: It was the same thing we do now. You sit down with the recruitment committee
at the end of the interviews. I think the game was that I was the only one who
had any real, administrative experience. They were impressed with it.
Caranasos [M.D. George, Professor of medicine and Community Health and
Family Medicine in 1980] was certainly impressed with the Greek name. There is
no doubt about that. He would ask all the right questions, A. .. And how many
people were under your administration?@ There were more than the whole
faculty, here, at the time. But he was asking pointedly. I have never asked him if
he was sorry he did that. But Will Deal was really very good, too. I was so sorry
to see him leave. One of the things that I said to him was, you know, I am really
kind of independent. He said, I will tell you what; I will let you do anything you
UFCN-19, Malasanos, Page 17
want to do as long as you [don=t] get me in trouble with my department heads.
You can=t ask for better than that. John came down to talk to him. Torre had
just been admitted to medical school at the University of Illinois. You have to
know the neighborhood [there, in Chicago] to know that it is not a place you really
like to leave a child. She was young, too; she was nineteen when she went to
medical school. He [John] said to Will, what are the chances? [ To get a transfer
to University of Florida medical school] and Will said, Adone.@ So, she went to
school here. And that was in June, I think. The selection process was finished.
It gave me peace of mind.
S: That could have been a deal-breaker for you, couldn't it?
M: Oh, yeah. If she was going to have to stay there and travel back and forth to that
neighborhood . We had little experiences like knowing that the expressway
was about two blocks away. Early in my experience, there, somebody opened
my side door trying to get my purse. I can=t remember where this happened to
me, but I learned. That is the sort of thing that happens in that neighborhood. I
think I hurt his arm. And then, you were going right on the expressway. Chicago
has some rough neighborhoods. And that is not the worst. Mildred Lorentz, who
was the director when I was at Michael Reese Medical Center, said to me, you
will be traveling to come to work. Nobody who works here, lives in this
neighborhood. I advise you not to look like a nurse. Get a raincoat; wear it all
the time and it shouldn't be a new one. It was good advice. I only had
somebody bother me one time. It was about 5:00 in the morning over at South
Park, transferring to come over. I looked up and this guy is in front of me and of
course, he was huge to me. The bus had just pulled up and I looked up at him
and in my most serious voice said, would you please get out of my way. And he
did. I never had anybody rob me. But I think you learn, too, in nursing not to let
anybody get behind you and to be aware of what is happening all around you.
We had a lot of similar experiences. I loved Chicago. By living there,
one gets a better idea of the populations and what is happening there. In
Chicago, you talk about segregating the cultures ... If you want to learn about
Germans, go to Germantown.
S: So, you decided to move down here and things were falling into place with Torre
being admitted. Did you walk into problems at the college? Did you understand
what challenges might be facing you?
M: I think I knew and I think I knew not to have wild expectations, but to try to do
what you needed to do. I took a look at it and you said, they are strong in the
undergraduate program so focus on the graduate program. And that is what we
did for the most part. And within four years we had the doctoral program started
and had markedly widened what we were doing in adult health, I think.
UFCN-19, Malasanos, Page 18
S: How did you go about that, Lois?
M: Finding out who was a leader in that area, talking to them about what they
thought was possible or not possible; would they be willing? Who would help
them? Whom do we need to get? I had helped start the doctoral program at
Illinois so I had some good ideas about how to start a doctoral program. My
expectations are not all that great. I figured you have a good masters program;
you have people who know how to direct research. If you have people with
experience there--at least three of them--you can do a doctoral program. And we
were fortunate to get funded so we could hire more people. That was helpful.
S: What about the participants at the college who were contributing to the literature?
Was there a lot of publishing going on?
M: No, but there were a lot of people who were interested in doing that. We had
people like Betty Hilliard. Betty wanted midwifery to happen. You just say, thank
God, there is Betty. And we were strong in pediatrics. But pediatrics was, kind
of, kingdoms. Trying to get them to work together was not as easy as what Betty
was trying to do. They were intellectual giants like David Williams.
S: Putting together a doctoral program, you put the pieces together?
M: I knew how to do the underpinnings--how to get the paperwork ready and that
sort of thing. I knew who to see and how to work inside the university to try to get
something to happen. People didn't always agree with me. Amanda Baker had
wanted to be dean so I don=t think she was somebody who was going to be
supportive of a lot of things. But I tried her first--she was a strong person--to try
to make it happen. There were enough people there and Amanda went along
with them. Then, the other two people who were there that had any strength at
the time were Myrna Courage and Jo Snider. Myrna is very bright, very
dedicated, and wanted good things to happen. She could work with other people
who were not all that cooperative to make things happen. So, there was
S: I want to ask you about your work in international nursing. How did that come
M: It came about, again, just by chance. People would ask me to do something and
I did it. I think a lot of this record is in my vitae. First of all, give Health
Assessment a lot of credit. People around the world were interested in learning
more about that. Then, there were only four of us in the country who had done
pathophysiology. So, if they wanted the topic of adult health, they usually invited
me to do that. Then--I don=t know if you know this--I was sent to Tufts
[University, Boston, Massachusetts] to do a five-week program with Norm
Daniels [Professor of Ethics and Population Health, Department of Population
UFCN-19, Malasanos, Page 19
and International Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA]. So, I
probably know about as much about ethics as anybody else we have. Then,
furthermore, we liked each other. So, we managed to meet every year as a
group. Additionally, Andrew Griffin, a physician in Chicago, was there. He and I
agreed that he would do a program there, in Chicago one year; I would do one
here, the next year. We were able to keep it alive as I went on in the deanship.
I have been in most countries in the world. I worked in Japan, China,
Thailand, the Philippines, and did a year in Turkey. And then Fulbright [Institute
of International Education] paid for me to go back two other times but I have
been in Turkey almost every year since 1980. The nurses are very smart. They
want nursing to do well. All you have to do is to tell them once and they will get
it. They are really good. And it is a beautiful country; the food is fantastic. I
have been to every major school in Turkey. When I was there, they took
advantage of the fact that I was going to be there for a year. I just had invitations
to go. I was supposed to be there for nine months. They wrote a proposal to
keep me for three more months so that I could do more of those kinds of things.
They are good people. They want to start a doctoral program right now and I am
trying to decide if I have another year in me. It is really good to do. I have been
all through Russia. In Europe--I haven=t done that much in Europe--but they
weren=t that far behind. Eastern Europe, I have done some work there. I have
not been to South America. I don=t know why they didn't ask me. It is that sort
of thing. If you were asked, you went. I did one in Beirut two years ago. That
was very interesting. The government somehow identified me and told the
nursing school to invite me. It is the American University in Beirut. So, I went for
four or five days. The faculty all had different agendas. Mainly the nursing
school wanted me to tell those people A. .. to leave these people alone. They
are doing a good job.@ I can do that in most areas. The other way you say that,
Abut they need some more money, more funds to do this kind of thing.@ They
were on the right track; their philosophy is good. It has been fantastic
experience. Russia was a surprise to me. I didn't think that it would be all that
good. Mostly, you talk to them. You didn't say, let=s sit down and talk about
what we are doing here. I separate that as consultation or presentation.
S: Where did you go in Russia?
M: Leningrad [St. Petersburg], Moscow, Baku, Georgia, and Armenia. Five different
S: What were their programs like?
M: Their programs were like primitive hospital programs. But they wanted to
change. I understand they have made some great improvements. All you have
to do is get the government there to say, yes, they do need a baccalaureate; they
do need this. We have enough data now, it would have been wonderful if we had
UFCN-19, Malasanos, Page 20
Linda Aiken=s data then, to say, look, it will be cheaper and safer. You have got
to do this. But then, they are willing to listen. Oh, and then, I have done Italy and
Spain. But that was for our Navy. That was fun. I was just lucky. I have always
been someone who needs to learn. I like to read. So, I try to keep up with
everything. For the most part, you can get most of the medical and nursing
journals free on the internet. So, that is good. I am still having trouble with the
University of Florida system. I am supposed to be able to print down anything for
which they have a subscription but I am still having a problem getting that to
happen. It is me, I am sure. After I spend about a half an hour trying, I lose
When I was in Turkey the first time, they were in a revolution. We got off
the plane and they put us in a room. We were there for a long time. The nurses
that we were going to be working with came and stayed with us. Finally, I said,
what is happening? They said, we are waiting for a torpedo. That is somebody
to help get through the red tape. The doctor came in and I knew him. John had
just opened a lab in Chicago and this doctor had come to that opening. At that
time, we had said to John, come on, invite our department. We need to come.
He said, oh, I want you there. I said, I don=t mean as hostesses. Just give us a
lab [a room] and let us have a good time. So, he did. This guy kept coming in to
see what all of the noise was about where we were. At any rate, his wife was at
Saint Luke=s Hospital at the time. In Turkey, by the way, if you do a
presentation, you start early in the morning and you don=t finish until 9:00 at
night. Then, they would have people show us the town. So, we went to Istanbul,
Izmir, and Ankara, the first time and saw a lot. This man made sure we stayed in
the right places. I still am in touch with his wife. She is an editor for a journal.
S: What were the challenges when you came to the University of Florida?
M: If you mean special ones that I hadn=t faced before, probably none. I mean, it is
essentially, making sure you are all working toward the same goals. That means
a lot of conversation--a lot of talk. Then, for the persons that don=t get what they
want, try to keep them from being obstructions. There were not that many--
mostly people with other agendas. If there were more of those, it would have not
been possible. If you can get a goal you can all agree on, then people will work
for it. And they all wanted that doctoral program. So that was good.
S: That has been such a shining star-program for the college.
M: And it just gets better. Furthermore, the school gets known better and they go
back across the country as graduates. We worked with Bob Bryan [University of
Florida, Interim President and Professor of English] to get this put in. We went to
a meeting just before it was to go to Tallahassee. It was getting closer and
closer to noon time. They were saying that the present agenda item was the last
thing they would be able to do. I went up to Bob Bryan and gave him a nod.
UFCN-19, Malasanos, Page 21
Bob, you know we have a grant in. If we don=t get this through the legislature
now, we are going to lose $900,000. He took care of it. He was good. It could
have been down the tubes. Bob tried to help wherever he could, too.
Realistically, not everybody is in favor of nursing. For instance, if they have
something they need to take care of for their own survival, they will take care of
it. And you have to know that. I think you have a harder time in nursing service
[getting money for the nursing department], however, than we do [in education].
S: When it is good, it is wonderful. But a lot of times, the bottom line rules.
M: And then, you are at the mercy of whoever is your boss. There is no way around
S: Do you still stay in touch with what is going on currently at the Health Center.
M: Not really. There are some people there that I know and of course, Toree is in
the College of Medicine. I do go to a lot of their CE=s. [continuing education
programs] But, for the most part, at the College [of Nursing], I would teach for
nothing but nobody has ever asked me. So you say to yourself, get the
message. That is the way it is--unusual, but a fact.
S: Well, you know, they are getting ready to celebrate 50 years as a college so I
think they are going to be doing programs all during 2006. It will be celebration
but it is also increased visibility.
M: Fund-raising was something I had never done before. Again, understand my
background--this German background in which you do not put your hand out to
anybody. The issue was that the first time I asked for money I got it. That kind of
turns your head a little bit. We were very fortunate. The Merdingers--he liked me
because of the Chicago connection and she liked me because she was a nurse.
I never even got credit for that money because it came in after I was no longer in
the deanship. But Murray, Murray Jenks, just keeps on giving and giving. He
has been good. He was not the first one I asked, however. He has been
wonderful. You present him anything that is reasonable and he will give you
money for it. I don=t know if you know anything about Murray.
S: No, I don=t.
M: Murray worked for the man whose foundation he runs, now. Murray said to me,
at one time, any time I can give that man=s money away, nothing makes me
happier. There was a woman down in Fort Myers, who shall be nameless, who
had four million dollars. She promised half to us, half to the college of Medicine.
But the College of Medicine took better care of her and they got it all. That was
probably where the College of Nursing should have been--right there with this
woman. She needed a lot of attention.
UFCN-19, Malasanos, Page 22
S: That makes a big difference.
M: I would call myself bad names and say, yeah, but you have got to do it. There
was a woman who did give her money. But she wanted to see you, too. A
person who was really good about that was the man, Mike Poston, from the
Florida Foundation. He wasn=t really our fund-raiser but he was good with us
because we always got money when we went together. We would go down and
see her and have a cup of tea with her and she would give us more money. She
just needed that. And consider that I have other things to do. Well, you don=t
because this is money that is going to be there forever. Then, the politician who
promised us some money that came in after I left, too. But he promised it and he
came through with it. The Carl and Margo Powers is the same thing. They
promised it; they gave it. You just have to keep working on it, though. No matter
how obscure the contact is, you have to be ready to pay attention.
S: That sounds very time-consuming.
M: You know, you finally say, just call it fun. We still take Murray to the plays-all of
the plays at the Hippodrome. We take him to lunch; we take him to the plays.
We figure we owe him and we like him. The foundation here probably needs to
be investigated in terms of the amount of money that they keep from every grant,
everything that everybody gives you. But it wasn=t on my agenda to do that. But
Mike Poston is back and is the kind of man . The day I met him I said, I am
not sure I like you. He was outgoing, too gregarious, and too much. Over the
years, he grew on me. You could say to him, Mike, it isn=t going to be. He got
me to hire this one fellow. He was on my case all of the time and his personality
didn't agree with mine. He put much more pressure than I would have put on
people. He came in one morning and he started with me. I said, you need to
know, I have a fever. I am not feeling well, today. He couldn't stop. He made
me feel terrible. After about an hour and a half, I said, I would like you to leave
my office. I would like you never to return. So, Mike was right there. I said, that
is the way it is, Mike. He is out. Mike just fired him before he came back down
here. I said that I tried to tell you. He said, I know. I stuck with it to prove you
S: When you look back over your career, what parts do you think of as good periods
of time or more exciting times?
M: You know, I probably don=t have good judgment. Things were changing and so
different that I think I really enjoyed it all, even Sam Morotta. I remember him
very kindly now. One thing we haven=t talked about, I think students are
absolutely the gifts you get. To watch them change and become the people they
want to be, is really nice to see. And the other thing that has been very good is
that it is a real turn-on to work with bright, young people, I tell you. I have always
UFCN-19, Malasanos, Page 23
worked in schools where the admission officer had the opportunity to be very
selective. When men started coming into nursing, the first ones I had, were at
Loyola. I am going, oh, my. The other thing that I knew from working in the
operating room, was that most of the males who were working in nursing who
had been educated other places were gay. That is why they were in nursing.
They had contact with men. I was thinking, now, we are going to do that. It
never happened. It has been wonderful. When I took a look back on the male
nurses that I have known, I am just really impressed. I worked with Dan Coble,
when he was doing his doctorate. I would never have had a chance to meet Dan
Coble other than that. And you think, he is a good guy and I am glad I know him.
S: A year or two before I left the college, we had five men in one class and when
they came to medical surgical nursing, we fought over who would be in our
clinical groups because it added so much to the perspective. I recently found the
newspaper clipping of them. It shows three of the five of them, on motorcycles.
Several of them were using nursing as a stepping-stone to go on to become
M: Many of them are nurse anesthetists, as a matter of fact. They are going to be
P.A.s [physicians= assistants]. But this is where they want to go first. But that is
all right. Our female nurses do the same thing. For the most part, I think they
are much more empathetic. I don=t think I could ever count anybody who was
really badly treated as a male in nursing. These first two guys I told you about at
Loyola--I had them at Resurrection Hospital--the nuns didn't want them in labor
and delivery. I had to spend hours with the nuns saying, wait a minute, all of
your doctors are men. So, they let it happen and they were pleased.
S: When you came to Florida and took over the deanship, did you have any African-
M: Faye [Faye Gary Harris], I think, was here, already. Then, two or three came in
and went out again. I worked with African-Americans in Chicago. And in the
operating room at Michael Reese, I met one of the smartest women I have ever
known. She was so good. Now, I went to Texas in the height of segregation. It
was so segregated that they had a black hospital and a white hospital for adults,
children=s hospital for black and whites, labor and delivery for black and white.
But that all changed. And you were glad to see it. But that didn't thoroughly
change until the 1960s.
S: Was there any segregation of the Mexican-Americans?
M: No. I think there was, psychologically. But I don=t think so, otherwise. So many
of them were illegals. And that didn't help. It was a state hospital so nobody
said anything since they were not into Medicare, yet. If you were there, you were
cared for. This is something that I have a real problem with. I really don=t think
that any of this has been helpful to patient care in this country. I am so glad to
see some physicians now, saying, we have to do something about his. And they
were so against socialized medicine. But my attitude has been, United Stated
and South Africa are the only countries in the world who do this. Can we be
UFCN-19, Malasanos, Page 24
right? When you see patients not getting taken care of, it makes me feel really
bad about it. The government paid for a lot of my education and I am grateful for
S: But think of the many ways you paid back.
M: You don=t even think about it. It is just that the educated people do that.
S: Those of us who went into a helping profession must have loved helping.
M: And what I know about physicians, I would never know. Living with them,
doesn't hurt. They need a lot of change and I don=t know if they are going to let
it happen. I think this social system does them poorly and many of them are so
afraid of socialized medicine, they won=t look at a change. I think we have,
probably, the best medical schools in the world. I just don=t know what is going
S: What is Toree=s job, now?
M: She is in pediatric endocrinology. She does a lot of diabetes care and she has
started the program for tele-medicine. They have a lot of programming online.
So, the teaching can be done online and you just make sure they got it, in
person. They are in charge of Daytona but they only go over there once a year.
They see the patients on video. I think they have one or two nurses over there
who see them if they really need to have something physical done. And they
come here once a year. Now, before they came here once a year, they had no
care the rest of the time. They have done the research as they went along.
They find it saves them money and it is safer for the patients. I usually say Toree
is gone because she is gone somewhere ... She just came back from San
Diego, having given a presentation there. I thought there would be a lot more
people in England who would want to hear what she has to say about tele-
medicine. She has been to London once. She was in Australia the year before
last. But they need some help. That would be good. And maybe they think they
could read it in four hours. She is enjoying it, I think. They are going through
some of the things, in the College of Medicine, that you would expect such as
gender issues. She is not the only one. But when it is happening to you, you
think you are the only one. I hear it from other people. I say, Toree, you may
want to know that so-and-so told me. So, I don=t think they will get away with it
S: What other things do we need to include in this interview that I have not asked
you? I have one question prepared here about how you might see yourself as a
life long learner=.
M: Each one of these stacks is something I am working on. [There were piles of
printed material on her desk and on her table.] Life never gets boring. I can read
without a goal for just so long. I can read; I like good literature. I am pretty well
schooled in foreign literature. I have only slept about four hours a night, all of my
S: So, you have lots of time to generate a productive life.
UFCN-19, Malasanos, Page 25
M: If it is not interesting, I may fall asleep doing it. Other than that, ...
S: When you look back on your career, would you have done something differently?
M: No, I don=t think so. If I had known where I was going--if I had some idea ...
As I said, when I was in nursing, I had no idea what I was getting into. Am I sorry
I didn't go into medicine? Absolutely not. What are some of the other areas that
I had some talent? I have a little writing talent. But, that is too insecure for me.
S: But it served you well as an adjunct to nursing and the scientific portions of your
M: It has been good.
S: I would like to thank you very much.
[End of Interview.]
May 26, 2004
Mr. Raphael Massa
3767 N. 500 W.
Ogden, UT. 84414-1417
Dear Mr. Massa:
I am involved in a project for the College of Nursing as a member of the Oral History
Program at the University of Florida. We have interviewed twelve early faculty
members or associates of the College of Nursing in the past three years. As a former
faculty member and a graduate of the Masters program in 1967, I am thrilled to be a
partner in this project.
In preparation for another year of oral histories for the college, your name has been
suggested as someone who would be willing to grant an interview about the early days
of the college and the J. Hillis Miller Health Center when Dorothy Smith and her faculty
were formulating the program.
I hope that you would be willing to give me a few hours of your time to share your
perceptions about nursing during 1960s, as well as your memories of the College of
Nursing. I do not believe that travel monies are available for me so, I suggest we could
talk via phone, initially, and decide on a future block of time that I might tape a phone
interview. After our audio tape is transcribed, it would be sent to you for corrections and
final approval, We would provide the archives of the College of Nursing a final copy, one
would be available in the archives of the Oral History Program of the University of
Florida, and we would send you a final copy.
If you would be interested in seeing some of the interviews we have done thus far, the
summaries are available on the website at www.history.ufl.edu/oral. Click on the tab at
the bottom right that indicates 'Visit the Collections'. The current College of Nursing
Dean, Kathy Long, has been most supportive of this project. Also, the committee for the
activities celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the college in 2005, plan to use the
material. We are trying to paint a picture of Gainesville in the 1950s and 1960s, its
health community, its educational settings, and its socio-cultural climate.
I will plan to give you a call in the next week or so, to discuss this project. Please feel
free to ask any questions you may have and be thinking of a time when we could do the
interview with a minimum of interruptions. I hope you will consider participating in this
project as an early graduate of this renowned nursing program.
Oral History Program
Mr. Ray Massa
2000 E. Ramar Rd.
Lot # 669
Bullhead City, AZ 86442
I enjoyed our conversation on the phone last Wednesday and I look forward to our
interview. I have enclosed a copy of the Deed of Gift for you to sign and return prior to
I would also like to confirm the time for the phone interview. I will call you on the
evening of Thursday, June 24. Considering the three-hour time difference, I plan to call
you at 5:00 P.M., Arizona time. As I told you on the phone, I have prepared some
guided questions to which you can respond. When the transcript is finished, it will be
sent to you for corrections and returned for final copy preparation, one of which you will
Thank you in advance for your participation in this project to tell the story of the early
days of Dorothy Smith and her college. I look forward to our oral history.
Ann Smith, MN, RN
Oral History Program