Dr. Bauermeister’s scholarship is grounded in social justice and characterized by a commitment to addressing structural and interpersonal barriers that hinder the social and personal well-being of SGM communities. Alongside race, class and gender, sexuality structures how we relate and interact with one another, and can give way to social and health inequalities when some sexualities are privileged over others. Dr. Bauermeister has sought to examine how to leverage intragroup and intergroup relationships to promote innovative strategies that address the needs of vulnerable SGM communities.
Dr. Brooks Carthon’s research and teaching have long focused on the issues of marginalization and inequities in healthcare. It is well understood that inequities in health care are avoidable, unnecessary and unjust and are due to policies and practices that create unequal distribution of resources to minority and poor communities. As such, her research examines policies such as nurse practitioner scope of practice barriers and insufficient nurse staffing levels that contribute to system racism and disproportionately impact minority patients and result in poor health outcomes.
Most recently, research by Dr. Brooks Carthon’s team is addressing the disproportionate risk borne by low income individuals with multiple chronic conditions who are transitioning to home from acute care settings. While social conditions such as inadequate housing and food insecurity, impact post hospitalization recovery, so too does poor care coordination and a lack of communication between inpatient and community based providers. To address these healthcare delivery concerns, she co-led an interdisciplinary workgroup in the development of an intervention called THRIVE to support the clinical and social needs of low-income individuals returning home after a acute care admission. As Executive Director of THRIVE, she continues to advocate targeted resources to improve outcomes for historically marginalized communities.
Health behaviors are stronger predictors of health outcomes than genetics, environmental factors, or even access to medical care. Through her research, teaching, and community-based practice, Dr. Buttenheim is keenly interested in identifying and dismantling mechanisms that produce social disparities in unhealthy behaviors. In the US, she has studied how to implement incentives-based smoking cessation programs for pregnant Medicaid members, who currently don’t have widespread access to these evidence-based strategies. In her work on the National Academic of Science, Engineering and Medicine’s Committee on the Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 vaccine, Dr. Buttenheim joined others in calling for preferential allocation of limited vaccine supply to communities hardest hit by the virus. Dr. Buttenheim was one of the founding members of Bold Solutions, an initiative to dismantle racism and advance Black health. Along with Amy Summer and Dr. Chris Chesley, she chairs the joint CHIBE/PAIR Committee on Anti-Racism and Social Change.
Dr. Cacchione’s scholarship addresses three areas that impact social justice for older adults: Her teaching and research focuses on decreasing ageism and stigma associated with mental health conditions; her health policy work has focused on models of care for the dual eligible population such as Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly and Managed Long-Term Services and Supports; and she has engaged in innovative work to improve post hospitalization wrap around services for the Medicaid population to decrease rehospitalizations and improve quality of life.
As outlined in her presentation, Opioid Addiction through the Lens of Social Justice, at the 2018 American Academy of Nursing “Transforming Health, Driving Policy” Conference, Dr. Compton’s contribution to social justice is to remind policy makers that addiction is the most highly stigmatized chronic disease in the US, which is imbued with moral and criminal attributions. This stigmatization is reflected in how sufferers are treated in the health care system; how health professional students are educated about the disease; how sufferers are able to access treatment; how non-evidence-based treatment options profit; and how addiction services are reimbursed.
Dr. Connolly’s scholarship, grounded in historical research and social justice, explicates contentious questions such as who speaks for children and how American society decides their “best interests.” Her research shows how answers to these questions continually shape the contemporary health care delivery template and vary significantly according to children’s race, social class, ethnicity, and gender.
Dr. D’Antonio’s program of historical research demonstrates nurses’ strong influence on health, social mobility, diversity and the development of cultural and health care norms. Her most recent work, Nursing with a Message: Public Health Demonstration Projects in New York City, argues that nurses were central in promoting the current norms of primary care within a health care system that reflected and refracted political, gendered, racialized norms, and highlighting how nurses supported economically and racially marginalized families equitable access to services available to white, middle-class families. In her earlier book, American Nursing: A History of Knowledge, Power and the Meaning of Work, Dr. D’Antonio also drew on firsthand accounts by White and African-American men and women nurses to discover how strong gender and racial hierarchies reinforced how these groups historically viewed themselves and each other, and underscored the importance of forging a strong nursing identity to bridge some of the historical divides within systems of care and education.
Dr. Flores’ research is focused on articulating the family’s role as a proximal sexuality and mental health resource for adolescents who identify as LGBTQ. This youth population has disproportionately been affected by HIV/STI infections, suicidality, depression and a host of other negative health outcomes. His team’s work at Penn Nursing is rooted in the commitment that, to eliminate these longstanding health issues, parents and the institutions they routinely interface with (e.g. schools, local government) can effectively provide LGBTQ-inclusive health education tailored to youths’ emerging attractions, behaviors, and/or sexual and gender identities. Countering hetero- and cisgender-normative ways of parenting and teaching is the first step to allowing LGBTQ youth to thrive and achieve their fullest potentials.
Achieving social justice requires that we acknowledge and respond to our collective and often discriminatory histories and practices in healthcare and public health. Dr. Jacoby’s research on injury and urban health focuses on the structural and social origins of the disparities we see every day and across the country in violence victimization, as well profound inequities in how opportunities for injury recovery, restoration, and health are constructed in American cities and healthcare systems.
Dr. Kral’s research focuses on studying protective factors within families for mitigating behavioral and socioeconomic risk factors for obesity development in predominantly minority children from low-resource environments. She discusses racial and ethnic disparities in adult and pediatric obesity in the United States in a nutrition science course she teaches at Penn Nursing. As part of this academically based community service (ABCS) course, undergraduate and graduate students engage with elementary and high school students in the West Philadelphia community to promote healthy nutrition and physical activity in youth.
Throughout Dr. Lipman’s career, her practice, teaching and research have been committed to health equity and community engagement and are grounded in social justice. Her research is focused on the identification of racial disparities in the treatment and outcomes of children with diabetes, and developing innovative strategies- through addressing social determinants of health- to reduce disparities in marginalized, vulnerable children who are at the highest risk for morbidity and mortality. She is also studying provider bias and the impact of structural racism in the provision of diabetes care. Her data have demonstrated that diabetes outcomes cannot be improved if there are significant unaddressed social barriers impeding the delivery of complex and demanding care in the home.
In Dr. Liu’s research, she has found that sociodemographic factors, such as race and social adversity, contribute to the relationship between environmental lead exposure and child health outcomes. Examining these factors may potentially make a difference in eliminating lead as an environmental justice concern.
In the global health course that she teaches, students explore disparities in global health based on income, race, class, and other sociodemographic factors. They learn about the underlying causes of such disparities, as well as the interventions taken to mitigate these disparities.
Dr. Salimah H. Meghani’s research focuses on investigating disparities in pain and symptom management in seriously ill individuals as a complex clinical and social phenomenon. She incorporates a discourse on disparities in the two palliative care courses she teaches at Penn Nursing at undergraduate and graduate levels where the topic of social justice and racial bias in health and access are brought to light and interrogated in an open and safe way. All students complete a Race Implicit Assessment Test (IAT) for their own personal understanding of where they stand and any blind spots.
Advancing social justice and health equity has been central to Dr. Perez’s teaching, research, and practice. She served as Principal Investigator for 1 of 13 grants funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health, Partnerships to Increase Coverage in Communities initiative, as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This project used a train-the-trainer model in partnership with the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) and prepared approximately 100 bilingual NAHN members and students to lead community workshops in 15 states with the largest Latino uninsured populations. The project provided a platform for nurses to hone their leadership skills to reach more than 6,000 uninsured individuals and families, including seniors who were interested in learning more about expanded Medicare benefits through the ACA. For the last 7 years, Dr. Perez has served as consultant for The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Steering Committee, who’s mission includes promoting health equity and addressing systemic and institutional racism and other inequities for historically marginalized populations.
Dr. Richmond’s research and scholarship are grounded in understanding and overcoming health inequities experienced by individuals and families living in low-resource and marginalized communities. She is committed to identifying and overcoming structural barriers that lead to and reinforce inequities. Her research has a dual approach. She partners with valuable community partners to examine the impact of living in pervasively violent, low-resource communities on families and rigorously producing data that can be used by agencies to inform programmatic initiatives to reduce inequity and improve health, well-being, and safety. She also has a substantive body of research that focuses on disparate outcomes after serious injury in a cohort of Black men with serious traumatic injury and, in a separate cohort, is seeking to uncover modifiable targets that drive disparities seen in transition to chronic pain after serious injury. She served on the Federal Advisory Committee for Healthy People 2030, which in this decade seeks to: eliminate health disparities, achieve health equity, and attain health literacy to improve the health and well-being of all; and create social, physical, and economic environments that promote attaining the full potential for health and well-being for all.
Dr. Riegel continues to work closely with prior doctoral trainees to publish on the impact of social determinants of health on self-care and clinical outcomes. She also conducts research and publishes with global collaborators.
Dr. Starbird’s research seeks to eliminate barriers to engaging in healthcare for women who are marginalized in society, particularly women who use drugs. Women who use drugs face systemic challenges to accessing high-quality healthcare, including stigma from providers, gender-based violence, setting-based safety concerns, childcare responsibilities and legal fears about child custody, lack of gender-focused services, and inflexibility of healthcare settings. Dr. Starbird’s work is rooted in the belief that the best way to minimize these barriers is for the healthcare system to improve the way it delivers care, rather than putting the burden on the individual patient to change her behavior.
Dr. Trout’s research on nutrition in pregnancies affected by gestational diabetes has illuminated the inequities that exist around food insecurity, food deserts and food swamps. Dr. Trout’s mission is to continue research in collaboration with community members about how best to address these issues in a sustainable manner. The impact of systemic racism and socioeconomic inequalities on pregnancy outcomes is finally being recognized.