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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. 

Global Leaders

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. 


Department Programs

Nurse Practitioner

Advanced Practice 


  • Racial Disparities in Pediatric Diabetes Treatment

    Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is the third most common pediatric chronic disease in the United States, and the risk of the disease has risen sharply in non-Hispanic Black (NHB) children in the last 20 years, data show. Ironically, the significant advances in T1D therapeutics over recent years, especially new technologies, may have exacerbated racial disparities in diabetes treatment and outcomes.

  • How the Pandemic Disrupts Breastfeeding Experiences

    The COVID-19 pandemic and the implications of physical distancing have disrupted new mothers’ birth and breastfeeding experiences even if they are not COVID-19 positive or a person awaiting results. In a new case series report from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing), researchers share common concerns and experiences as reported by three first-time, healthy mothers regarding the disruption of their birth plans and breastfeeding experiences.

  • Community Immersion as Distance Learning

    Community immersion classes are central to teaching nursing students about social determinants of health. But what happens when on-site engagement is suspended due to a pandemic?