This Hall of Fame award was presented posthumously to Louise Krauss Ament. This St. Louis, Missouri native was a daughter of German immigrants. During her careers in nursing and medicine Louise Ament left her indelible talents and gifts to the nursing profession in Missouri. Not so long ago, in the 1930’s when she retired from her position as Superintendent of Lutheran Hospital and also from an active position in nursing, this very same organization, Missouri Nurses Association, lauded her leadership and many achievements for the development and progress of professional nursing in Missouri, in a resolution presented at convention.
Louise Krauss did not seek to become a leader, rather the doors for leadership were opened to her, and fortunate for us, she chose to use these opportunities. The position at the St. Louis World’s Fair was a turning point in her life and career. Just afterward, she enrolled in medical school, married and practiced medicine until her husband died in 1918 with the Spanish influenza. With his death, she had a young son to support and she chose to return to Lutheran Hospital where she was the Superintendent for many years.
While in this position, she also returned to her interests in the promotion of nursing and served nurses well in many forums. In 1931, during the midst of the great depression in our nation, she wrote, “Depressions manifest themselves in many ways and are undoubtedly responsible for the 35% of unoccupied beds in our hospitals last year. That cannot mean that America is over-hospitalized, that we have allowed the pendulum to swing too far in the provision of beds for the sick. We all know that sooner or later prosperous times will again be in evidence. It remains for us to give to our work the best that is in us, to see that the torch we pass to the next generation burns a little brighter than when it came to us.” We remember her as one who was inspirational and visionary for the profession of nursing in Missouri.