Penn Nursing Appoints Inaugural Executive Director of the Leonard A. Lauder Community Care Nurse Practitioner Program
The first cohort of Lauder Fellows will begin their studies this fall, at a moment when the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the nation’s acute shortage of primary care providers, and persisting inequities in access to quality health care. Fellows will enroll full-time in a two-year, rigorous Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program at Penn Nursing, and complete at least 50% of their clinical education at community partner sites and/or comparable sites that provide direct patient care. Every Fellow will be expected to commit to practice or service in an underserved community for two years after graduation. All participants in the program will enter the workforce free of graduate school debt, receiving student aid to cover their tuition and fees and thereby eliminating any potential financial barriers for nurses and others who wish to enroll.
As Executive Director, Strauch will be responsible for community partner development and coordination, including preceptors; the development of targeted recruitment plans; the coordination of the fellowship’s evaluation and tracking; and she will serve as a liaison for student and alumni fellows. In addition, she will work closely with Sue Renz, PhD, DNP, Director of the Primary Care Program, to ensure cohesiveness and coordination of students, clinical experiences, and curriculum.
“We always knew the Leonard A. Lauder Community Care Nurse Practitioner Program would need a dynamic practitioner and leader at the helm, and I am delighted to have Dr. Strauch filling that role,” said Penn Nursing Dean Antonia M. Villarruel. “Her commitment and expertise in working in underserved communities will be critical in helping Penn Nursing develop the next generation of nurse leaders who are equally committed.”
“I am thrilled that Dr. Strauch will bring her considerable expertise and experience into this critical leadership role at a pivotal moment to improve health equity nationwide,” said Leonard A. Lauder. “Nurse practitioners are vital to advancing quality care across this country. When the first cohort begins their studies this fall, they will have an excellent model of commitment to education as Dr. Strauch ushers in Penn’s groundbreaking program. Dr. Strauch has been on the front lines in underserved populations that need high-quality primary care more than ever. Her leadership will inspire future nurse practitioners to meet the needs of Americans in communities far and wide.”
Strauch has been a primary care nurse practitioner for over 10 years with specific expertise in the care of underserved and vulnerable populations. She was among the first nurse practitioners hired by Project HOME’s Stephen Klein Wellness Center, where she played a vital role in growing the practice into a fully integrated medical home, provided community outreach services that included street medicine, precepting nurse practitioner students, and networking with community practice partners to improve the care of patients.
Strauch is no stranger to Penn Nursing. She previously served as the Nursing Curriculum Coordinator for the School’s Vin Group-Penn Alliance Project and as project manager of the School’s Health Resource and Services Administration (HRSA) grant – ANEW – focused on providing enhanced didactic content and clinical training to advanced practice registered nurses interested in caring for underserved populations post-graduation.
Before taking on this appointment Strauch was working in a Penn Nursing and Penn Dental Medicine partnership focused on developing a framework for interdisciplinary education and training between nursing and dentistry. As part of her role in the Care Center for Persons with Disabilities within Penn Dental Medicine, Dr. Strauch educated predoctoral students on the management of medically complex patients of all physical and cognitive abilities, which includes a deeper understanding of the social determinants of health.
Strauch received her BSN in Nursing from Michigan State University, her MSN as a Nurse Practitioner in Adult Gerontological Care from Penn Nursing, and her PhD in Nursing Informatics from the University of Arizona.