Karen B Hirschman, PhD, MSW
NewCourtland Term Chair in Health Transitions Research and Research Associate Professor of Nursing
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Ralston House 3615 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-4217
tel: (215) 573-3755
Dr. Hirschman came to the School of Nursing in July, 2004 after completing a two-year NRSA Post-Doctoral Training Program in Age-Related Neurodegenerative Diseases in the School of Medicine at Penn
With a background in social work and social welfare and training with a multidisciplinary team of healthcare experts through her fellowship, Dr. Hirschman brings this uniquely blended experience as an interdisciplinary researcher to the School of Nursing.
Dr. Hirschman’s program of research is centered on advance care planning, decision making, caregiver burden and end-of-life care with a specific emphasis on individuals with cognitive impairments and their family members. With a background in social work and social welfare and training with a multidisciplinary team of health care experts through her a postdoctoral training program, Dr. Hirschman brings this uniquely blended experience as an interdisciplinary researcher to the School of Nursing.
Since she came to the School of Nursing in 2004, Dr. Hirschman has received funding from the Alzheimer’s Association and was the first School of Nursing recipient of funding from the Institute on Aging. She presents her work locally and nationally and is published in major journals in aging and geriatrics. She collaborates on multiple projects with colleagues at Penn in the School of Medicine, Alzheimer’s Disease Center, Penn Home Care and Hospice, and the Institute on Aging.
Dr. Hirschman works as a member of Dr. Mary Naylor’s research team and is involved in the launch two National Institute on Aging (NIA) funded R-01s: 1) Hospital to Home: Cognitively Impaired Elders/Caregivers (NIA 5R01AG023116-02 ) and 2) Health related quality of life: Elders in long-term care (NIA 1R01AG025524-01A2). These experiences have enabled her to broaden her research experience and expand her program of to include health care transitions for persons with cognitive impairments and their families.
Currently Funded Grants
NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health
Dr. Hirschman was selected to attend the National Institute on Aging (NIA) Summer Institute in Queenstown, MD (July 2005) and the NIA Technical Assistance Workshop at the 2004 annual conference for the Gerontological Society of America. She was the recipient of the Helen Rehr Best of Social Work in Health Care award for the article, “How do tangible supports impact the breast cancer experience?” published in 2005. Dr. Hirschman completed a postdoctoral training program in age-related neurodegenerative disease in the School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (NIH/NIA T32 AG 00255). She is a member of the Society for Social Work Research (SSWR) and the Gerontological Society of America (GSA). She is on the executive committee of the new Center for Health Transitions in the School of Nursing.
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