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Penn Nursing Professor Receives Distinguished Nursing Researcher Award

The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA) has awarded Penn Nursing’s Salimah Meghani, PhD, MBE, RN, FAAN, with this year’s Distinguished Nursing Researcher Award. This award recognizes a nurse researcher who has demonstrated longevity and consistency in research leadership that advances the mission and vision of HPNA through high quality research, influential publications, and research mentorship focused on improving care in serious illness. The award was presented on February 18, 2021 during the virtual 2021 HPNA/AAHPM Annual Assembly.

The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association was established in 1986 and is the leading national professional organization representing the specialty of palliative nursing and advancing expert care in serious illness through education, research, and advocacy.

“This is perhaps one of the most prestigious nursing research awards in the field. I feel honored to join the list of 10 inspiring former recipients of this national award. What makes it even more special for me is that I am the first immigrant woman and person of color to receive this honor,” said Meghani. “This certainly paves the way for other minority investigators who are improving the care of seriously ill persons and their families through rigorous research and service. I am grateful to the HPNA Research Advisory Council and the HPNA Board of Directors for this wonderful acknowledgement.”

About Dr. Meghani

Dr. Meghani is a Professor of Nursing & Term Chair of Palliative Care, Associate Director of NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health, and a Senior Fellow of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at University of Pennsylvania. Meghani has a long-standing commitment to advancing the field of palliative care. Between 2005-2007, she served on the Taskforce to Improve Quality at the End of Life for Pennsylvanians and subsequently on Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Patient Life Sustaining Wishes Advisory Committee (2007-2009), which assessed the feasibility of Pennsylvania Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) in Pennsylvania. This committee’s work led to the approval of POLST the by the PA Secretary of Health in October 2010. Between 2012-2014, Meghani served on the Institute of Medicine Study Committee that authored the report, Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life. More recently, she was a member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) planning committee on Pain and Symptom Management for People with Serious Illness in the Context of the Opioid Crisis and reviewed the NAM report, Assessing Progress on the Future of Nursing. Meghani is the past Chair of the American Pain Society’s Pain Disparities Shared Interest Group, and currently serves on the editorial board of Pain Medicine, the official journal of the American Academy of Pain Medicine and as the Nursing Section Head of the Journal of Pain Research.

Meghani leads a widely recognized program of research focusing on addressing and ameliorating racial disparities in pain and symptom outcomes of seriously ill individuals, especially persons with cancer. Her novel research has been supported by prestigious federal and foundation grants and includes the highly competitive Recovery and Reinvestment Act Challenge Grant through the NIH/National Institutes of Nursing Research. Her impactful research has also informed a policy agenda for harmonizing national cancer pain management guidelines. Meghani’s work has enormous promise for enhancing the lives of millions of seriously ill Americans living with chronic pain in an evolving context of opioid crisis.

Meghani has been consistently recognized for her outstanding teaching and has mentored a sizeable cadre of pre-and post-doctoral nursing fellows who are making meaningful contributions to the field of palliative care. Among her many honors include the Barbara J. Lowery Doctoral Student Organization Faculty Award and Dean’s Award for Exemplary Teaching at Penn Nursing. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. Meghani received her PhD from Penn Nursing (2005); her Masters in Biomedical Ethics from Penn Medicine (2005); her Masters in Nursing Science from Penn Nursing (2001); and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the Aga Khan University (1997).