Molly McHugh is a doctoral student at Penn Nursing and recipient of a National Research Service Award fellowship funded by the National Institutes of Health, Individualized Care for At-Risk Older Adults (T32NR009356) program. Her research interests focus on exploring community-based palliative care interventions in the chronically ill, adult population. Her co-mentors are Drs. Mary Naylor and Karen Hirschman.

McHugh began her nursing career working in a Surgical Intensive Care Unit in Washington, D.C., following completion of the BSN at Penn Nursing. She transitioned to a travel nurse role prior to starting the PHD program and joined various ICUs across the country working with a COVID and Trauma ICU teams. Working with the critically ill at the bedside has driven her interest in supporting palliative care in the community setting, prior to inpatient hospital admission. In addition, during her undergraduate studies, McHugh actively engaged in community-based partnerships, and received the Keller Award for Outstanding Service and Achievement from the University of Pennsylvania. In recognition of her scholarly pursuits and career development to date, she was appointed as an Associate Fellow of the Leonard Davis Institute at Penn. She also is a member of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, Gerontological Society of America, and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.