Maureen George, PhD, RN, AE-C, FAAN
Assistant Professor of Nursing

Contact Information
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Room 416 Fagin Hall
418 Curie Blvd.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-4217
tel: (215) 573-8659

Maureen George, PhD, RN, AE-C, FAAN is an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and member of the Center for Health Equity Research and Center for Global Women’s Health. She is a Senior Fellow in the Center for health Behavior research. Her research explicates patients’ “hidden” beliefs and behaviors and stresses the importance of patients and providers mutually agreeing on a plan for managing chronic illness. Her work uses innovative patient-centered approaches to design tailored interventions that enhance disease control.

With the school’s recent curriculum redesign, Dr. George became an integral member of the course development team for N103 Psychological and Social Diversity in Health and Wellness. Her teaching philosophy aims to foster undergraduates’ critical thinking and appreciation for the lived experience of patients, particularly vulnerable and under-resourced populations. This course situates the challenges of at-risk populations in the context of the US health care system and applies developmental theory across the life-course with a focus on challenges posed by such things as inadequate health literacy or stigma. In 2011 she was the recipient of the Dean’s Award for Undergraduate Scholarly Mentoring and in 2013 received both the Dean’s and the Department of Family and Community Health’s Award for Exemplary Teaching.

Dr. George’s independent program of research asks “What personal health beliefs influence self-care decision-making and clinical outcomes in underrepresented minority populations with chronic lung disease residing in under resourced areas?” and “What interventions can help align patient preferences with evidence-based recommendations”
The majority of Dr. George’s work has been conducted with Black adults and the urban poor with asthma whose disease management is complicated by a unique set of self-care beliefs. In previous F31 and F32 studies she uncovered a high affinity for unconventional self-care beliefs and behaviors arising from personal experience with institutional racism, respect for cultural traditions, and a wish to make empowered health care decisions. These findings challenge mischaracterizations of low inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) adherence as a marker of disinterest in asthma management. Rather, poor adults and minority adults make empowered decisions to use culturally relevant integrative medicine (IM) precisely because they are invested in their health.
A 5-year K23 (2008-2013;NCCAM NIH) focused on developing and refining a brief self-administered survey with low literacy demands identified that negative ICS beliefs and IM endorsements were common and that IM endorsement significantly increased the odds of having uncontrolled asthma.
Dr. George proposes to build upon her K23 by conducting a feasibility trial of a patient-centered shared decision-making brief negotiation intervention using a community-based participatory research approach. In a related proof-of-concept project, collaborators from the Schools of Nursing and Medicine seek to answer important questions about how the urban environment affects asthma control. A community health worker intervention will use geospatial data from this project to create patient-informed, geographically tailored interventions focused on the factors that urban adults identify as affecting asthma control.

• Currently Funded Grants

• Center for Health Equity Research

Clinical Practice
Dr. George serves as the School’s Faculty Advisor for the United Community Clinic, an interprofessional student-run free clinic that operates out of the basement of the First African Presbyterian Church in the Parkside section of West Philadelphia. She is also on the Board of Directors of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Lung Association and Chairs its Mission committee. In 2013 Dr. George was named a “Lifestyles Champion” by the AmeriHealth Caritas Foundation in recognition of her work to improve the lives’ of those suffering from asthma in our community

She has been on the editorial board of the Journal of Asthma since 2008 and is an Associate Editor for the Primary Care Respiratory Medicine Journal. She serves as a Co-Director of the Ormylia Project for the Center for Global Women’s Health and received a State Department grant (Co PI) for consultation and community training to enhance capacity in Northern Greece, particularly as it relates to health promotion, smoking cessation and environmental health.


2013 Lifestyle Champion, AmeriHealth Caritas Recognition
2013 Recipient, Dean’s Award for Exemplary Teaching
2013 Recipient, Exemplary Teaching Award, Department of Family and Community Health
2012 Recipient, Dean’s Innovation Award; 2nd Place
2011 Recipient, Dean’s Award for Undergraduate Scholarly Mentoring
2010 Fellow, American Academy of Nursing
2010 Outstanding Member Award, Association of Asthma Educators
2006 Educator-of-the-Year Award, Association of Asthma Educators
2003 MHDP Visiting Expert [Scholar], Ministry of Health SINGAPORE
2001 Scholarly Achievement Recognition, University of Pennsylvania Health System
2000-2001 Outstanding Leadership Award, SEPA American Lung Association

• Honors/Awards Details »

Publications (select year)
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2005  | 2004  | 2003  | 2002  | 2001  | 2000 and Prior  | In Press  | More Publications 

There are limitless options for managing disease or responding to symptoms. Many prefer to integrate conventional therapies with complementary and alternative medicine. Gaining an enhanced understanding of the dynamic and complex antecedents to health behaviors is necessary before partnerships can be developed and decision-making shared. Only then can we hope to improve the lives of our most vulnerable populations who suffer the greatest disease burden and most pronounced health inequities.