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Prestigious Fellowship for Penn Nursing Professor

Connie M. Ulrich, PhD, RN, FAAN, MSN, the Lillian S. Brunner Endowed Chair in Medical and Surgical Nursing, Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy and Nursing in Penn Nursing’s Department of Biobehavioral Health Sciences, has been elected one of 24 new Fellows of The Hastings Center.

The Hastings Center Fellows are a group of more than 200 individuals of outstanding accomplishment whose work has informed scholarship and public understanding of complex ethical issues in health, health care, science, and technology. The new fellows come from six countries and a range of disciplines, including medicine, nursing, philosophy, law, American studies, and theater. Their research and other activities encompass diverse areas such as critical care medicine, conflicts of interests, clinical research ethics, genomics, artificial intelligence, philosophy of race, health equity, and social justice.

“I am very honored to be elected a fellow of The Hastings Center, and as a nurse bioethicist this holds special meaning for me,” said Ulrich. “We have all seen the devastating effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on nurses and other clinicians on the frontlines of healthcare and I look forward to being part of this remarkable bioethics organization to address the ethical challenges that we face as clinicians, communities, and societal members.”

Ulrich is also an Associate Director at the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health and has a secondary appointment in Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy in Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. Her research focuses on advancing empirical bioethics in both clinical practice and research. Ulrich’s current work includes a project that aims to better understand the role and responsibilities of clinical ethicists during Covid-19 and the ethical challenges they face in supporting clinicians, patients, and families; and a book on Nurses and COVID-19: Ethical Considerations in Pandemic Care. She is also the principal investigator of a bioethics educational grant that aims to develop and train nurse and physician bioethicists in Tanzania. Ulrich has served on several data safety and monitoring boards appointed by the National Institutes of Health and other organizations. In 2015, she provided testimony to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethics on the value of nursing to the public and to public discourse on ethical issues; the ethical issues that nurses encounter that require bioethics education; and the role of bioethics education in preparing the next generation of nursing professionals.