Yale School of Nursing, Yale University's Graduate Nursing Programs

John Devereaux Thompson Named to ANA Hall of Fame

June 1, 2010

John Devereaux Thompson.John Devereaux Thompson, RN, MS, was named to the American Nurses Association (ANA) Hall of Fame. Thompson, who passed away 1992, was a professor at Yale's Schools of Nursing, Medicine, and Public Health. His daughter, Siobhan Thompson, is currently a research administrator at YSN.

The ANA Hall of Fame Award recognizes lifelong commitment to nursing and impact on health and or social history of the U.S. The award was bestowed to five registered nurses at ANA's biennial House of Delegates meeting June 16-20 in Washington, DC.

Thompson had a legendary love of data and dedicated his career to improving hospital quality of care and management. His research, in collaboration with others at Yale, developed Diagnosis Research Groups (DRGs), now the foundation of the payment system to hospitals from the Medicare System. This work fundamentally changed health care finance and management throughout the world, allowing hospital managers to policy makers to understand cost and quality of hospital care, and moving nursing to the policy table in health care.

"While his name is most often associated with the DRG work, his body of work encompassed studies of nursing service delivery, hospital operations and architecture, planning for hospice and, later, AIDS services, as well as a lifetime of teaching and program management," Dean Margaret Grey wrote about Thompson. "He was a gifted professional who never lost sight of his roots in patient care."

"I knew Thompson best as a teacher and mentor," wrote former dean Donna Diers. "His generosity to students was legendary. 'I'll make a few phone calls,' he would say when a student came to him with an outrageous idea for a project or a position. He taught generations of nurses and hospital administrators, always from a base in the history of the modern hospital, informed by his love of Florence Nightingale's work."

"ANA Hall of Fame members like John Devereaux Thompson have made a lasting impact on the nursing profession on behalf of patients, nurse colleagues and future nurses," said ANA President Rebecca M. Patton, MSN, RN, CNOR. "Some specialized in research, others in clinical practice or organizational leadership. No matter their focus, they all stand as testaments to what can be achieved through commitment, persistence and passion for improving health care for all."