Family and Community Health
Faculty in the Department share a commitment to teaching, research and practice that embeds individuals’ experience of health and illness in the context of their families and their communities. We are particularly interested in exploring how we can strengthen the context in which nursing care is delivered to achieve health equity for all and healthy outcomes for those at different points along the health and illness continuum.
The Department also defines our community as a global one. With our longstanding participation in the Global Network of World Health Organization of Collaborating Centers for Nursing and Midwifery Development, we can look to carefully crafted community-based participatory research to affect change.
The Department’s commitment to enhancing the experiences of families and communities leads inexorably to its commitment to diversity - diversity of thought, of experiences, and a faculty dedicated to eliminating the disparities that plague our health and educational systems.
It also leads to our unique emphasis on historical methods to understand, challenge and change the systems we have inherited from the past as we look to a more just and equitable future.
We also have a long tradition of interprofessional leadership in our teaching, research and practice. And we now seek the same in our education of students who will assume new roles in a changing healthcare environment.
The current Medicare reimbursement policy for nurse practitioners (NPs) allows NPs to directly bill Medicare for services that they perform, but they are reimbursed at only 85% of the physician rate. A growing number of states are granting full practice authority to nurse practitioners. Even more states have loosened practice restrictions due to COVID-19. Both of these reasons illustrate why payment parity is essential.
The International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses (ISPN) recently awarded Penn Nursing’s Bridgette M. Brawner, PhD, MDiv, APRN, Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Health, its Diversity and Equity Award. The award was presented during the ISPN 23rd Annual Virtual Conference on March 24. Brawner will present the Diversity/Equity lecture at next year’s conference.
The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened an existing drug overdose crisis that claimed the lives of more than 81,000 people in the U.S. from May 2019-June 2020. Penn Nursing’s Peggy Compton, PhD, RN, FAAN, van Ameringen Chair in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing and Professor in the Department of Family and Community Health, and Shoshana Aronowitz, PhD, CRNP, a Fellow of the National Clinician Scholars Program, are co-authors on a recent policy brief from the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics Opioid Working Group that provides evidence-based recommendations for the government to consider in its response.