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 Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC) honors research led by Anne Teitelman, PhD, FNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN, Associate Professor Emerita in Penn Nursing’s Department of Family and Community Health, as the 2021 JANAC (Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care) Article of the Year.
Data show the importance of human milk and breastfeeding for the optimal health of infants, children, and lactating parents. But when parents and newborns are separated due to a hospitalization, current research shows that most sick babies are discharged home on infant formula. While many professional organizations have position statements about breastfeeding, few outline the specific lactation needs during parent–newborn separation.
Data show racial disparities in type 1 diabetes treatment and outcomes in non-Hispanic Black (NHB) children in the US. NHB children are less likely to be treated with diabetes technology, have poorer glycemic control and higher rates of diabetes complications and diabetes-related mortality than non-Hispanic white children. There is much to be done to ensure equitable care, but as yet, structural racism has not been a focus.