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New Appointments for Two Penn Nursing Professors

Margo Brooks-Carthon, PhD, has been named the Tyson Family Endowed Term Chair for Gerontological Research; and Heath Schmidt, PhD, has been named the Killebrew-Censits Chair in Undergraduate Education. Both appointments are effective July 1, 2021.

Brooks-Carthon is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Health and a Penn Fellow. She is also Director of the Care Continuity and Coordination for Socially and Medically Complex Patients Transitioning from Hospital to Home at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. Brooks-Carthon is well recognized and highly regarded as a nurse scientist, clinical expert, and an exceptional teacher. She has developed an influential trajectory of research. Her scholarship has been supported by numerous federal and private funding sources. Brooks-Carthon examines the association between quality of nursing care and racial inequities in health outcomes. Her mixed-methods work has acknowledged the racial/ethnic disparities experienced by older racial/ethnic minority patients when compared to White patients. Aware of the limited research on how to tailor discharge support for chronically ill, low-income individuals insured by Medicaid, Brooks-Carthon has convened an interdisciplinary academic-clinical partnership with the goal of developing an intervention, THRIVE, to reduce disparities and support transitions for low-income individuals with multiple chronic conditions. The term chair funding will help advance this work.

Schmidt is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biobehavioral Health Science and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine. His area of inquiry and teaching have added tremendous value to the School of Nursing’s research and teaching missions. Given the enormous effects of smoking and obesity on chronic illness and the devastating impact of substance use disorders, his work addresses some of the most pressing and intractable health issues today. Schmidt has shown leadership in developing undergraduate curricula in this area of expertise and demonstrated excellence in teaching. For example, he co-developed with Peggy Compton, PhD, an undergraduate course on opioids, opioid use disorders and pain, and a second course on the pharmacology of performance-enhancing drugs that is of interest to students enrolled in all four undergraduate schools at Penn. He has directly supervised 19 undergraduate researchers at Penn who have all gone on to matriculate in top-tier graduate programs and are authors on empirical publications in high-impact journals and conference abstracts.