Mary Ersek, PhD, RN, FAAN, FPCN, has been promoted to the rank of Professor for Pain and Palliative Care in the Standing Faculty Clinician-Educator track effective July 1, 2014.
Dr. Ersek's program of research explores pain and palliative care in older adults, with an emphasis on nursing home residents. Her extramural research support has been consistent and impressive; she has served as principal investigator on numerous grants and as co-investigator on many other projects focused on older adults.
Originally recruited by the Veterans Administration to initiate a program in palliative care, Dr. Ersek was selected in April 2011 to direct the National PROMISE at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center. PROMISE (Performance Reporting and Outcomes Measurement to improve the Standard of care at End-of-life) is an integral part of the VA's nationwide Comprehensive End-of-Life Care Initiative.
Since her appointment in 2008, Dr. Ersek has published 28 peer-reviewed journal articles, one book, and 10 book chapters. An internationally-recognized authority, she receives numerous speaking and policy analyses invitations. She has presented for the National Palliative Care Research Center, the VA Health Services Research and Development National Conference, the End-of-life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) for Veterans, and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association. She currently serves as a member of the Expert Advisory Panel on Palliative Care for the Health Care Improvement Foundation.
A very gifted teacher, Penn Nursing students leverage Dr. Ersek's leadership reputation and skills through the classes she teaches, including NURS367/557: Principles of Palliative Care and NURS577: Advanced Practice Issues for Palliative Care Nurses. Her national and international citizenship is complimented by her presence, proactivity, and citizenship at the School and the University levels.