Tara A. Cortes, RN, PhD, FAAN, executive director of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New York University College of Nursing, was honored as a 2011 New York Women’s Agenda Star at NYWA’s annual Star Breakfast Dec. 6 at the Marriott Marquis hotel in New York City.
Cortes, who also is a professor of geriatrics at the college, was honored for her ground-breaking achievements in healthcare. She is recognized worldwide for her efforts to change policy and practice in geriatric care and in low-vision and blindness care. Before joining NYU’s college of nursing, Cortes was president and CEO of Lighthouse International, a nonprofit organization committed to fighting vision loss and providing assistance to the sight-impaired. She also is a board member of the National Accreditation Council for the Blind and Visually Handicapped.
“I am honored to be standing before you as a nurse and being recognized for what I love to do,” Cortes said upon receiving her award. “Love what you do and do what you love. Build your network and embrace learning with a passion. When you stop learning, you stop growing.”
Cortes was one of four 2011 NYWA Stars honored at the ceremony. Other winners included Judith Harrison, senior vice president of staffing and diversity and inclusion at Weber Shandwick; Kim Martin, president and general manager for WE TV; and author, philanthropist and columnist Mitzi Perdue, widow of poultry magnate Frank Perdue.
The organization also recognized two Rising Stars: Aditi Mohapatra, senior sustainability analyst at Calvert Investments, and Lauren Ruotolo, director of entertainment promotions, Hearst Magazines. It named Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory A. Booker as its 2011 Honorable MEN-tion. Tennis great Billie Jean King received the Elinor Guggenheimer Lifetime Achievement Award. Guggenheimer is founder of the NYWA, and recipients of the award exemplify her “caring dedication to advancing the cause and standing of professional women.”
Cortes joins fellow nurse Terry Fulmer, RN, PhD, FAAN, as an NYWA Star. Fulmer, previously the Erline Perkins McGriff professor and dean of NYU College of Nursing, was honored by the organization in 2007.