Lillian Maria Laggan
Lillian Maria Laggan was a dedicated leader and champion for the nursing profession. She received her diploma from DCH School of Nursing, her BSN from The University of Alabama, and received her MSN from the University of Alabama School of Nursing at Birmingham. After gaining experience as a staff nurse in North Carolina, Virginia, and Hawaii, she came to Alabama in 1963 to the VA Hospital in Tuscaloosa. There she moved up the ranks to Assistant Chief Nurse. Because of her commitment to nursing and passion for helping those who served our country, she entered the VA’s Chief Nursing Training Program. Afterward, she served as Chief Nurse in Georgia and then returned to the Tuscaloosa VA where she served in that capacity until her retirement in 1997. Known as “The Chief” by those who were fortunate enough to work under her leadership and guidance, she worked tirelessly to recruit and retain qualified and dedicated care-givers and was an excellent role model and mentor for aspiring nurse leaders. Mrs. Laggan’s commitment to excellence was evidenced by the numerous awards and commendations she received during her tenure. One of the most prestigious was the National Secretary of Veteran Affairs Equal Opportunity Award which she received in 1994. A recognized nursing leader within the VA system, she often served on committees and task forces at regional and national levels. She was a frequent consultant to other VA facilities as well as Administrators in the private sector. Her legacy of leadership within the VA system is carried on today by those she mentored.