Kimberly Strauch, PhD, ANP-BC
Dr. Strauch has been a primary care nurse practitioner for over 10 years with specific expertise in the care of underserved and vulnerable populations. It was during her time providing integrated primary care services at an urban Federally Qualified Health Center that she identified gaps in her own education and training while trying to navigate the impact that social and policy determinants of health had on the health and health outcomes of patients under her care. In July 2022, she was appointed as the inaugural Executive Director of the Leonard A. Lauder Community Care Nurse Practitioner Program at Penn Nursing. This first-of-its-kind, tuition-free program is dedicated to building a nurse practitioner workforce committed to working in and with underserved communities. As Executive Director, Dr. Strauch will be responsible for community practice partner engagement and coordination, including preceptors; the development of targeted recruitment plans; the coordination of the fellowship’s evaluation and tracking; and serve as a liaison for student and alumni fellows; and ensure cohesiveness and coordination of students, clinical experiences, and curriculum across primary care programs.
“Having the opportunity to develop a primary care workforce that can equitably address the needs of vulnerable populations and underserved communities will be transformative.”
- Ph.D., University of Arizona, 2021
- MSN, University of Pennsylvania, 2011
- BSN, Michigan State University, 2005
Integrating Behavioral Health into Primary Care and Technology Innovations
Dr. Strauch is currently the Co-PI of a pilot study that uses mobile eye-tracking methods and sentiment analysis to explore telepresence during mental health-related telehealth visits. Findings from this study will be used to develop software and/or hardware enhancements to current telehealth platforms as well as inform how patients and providers make meaningful connections during telehealth visits
As a clinician and educator, Dr. Strauch is deliberate about assessing structural and interpersonal barriers to addressing social determinants of health at the point of care, particularly among vulnerable and underserved populations. Aligned with her clinical practice interests, Dr. Strauch’s scholarship is grounded in social justice with an emphasis on addressing structural, digital, and interpersonal barriers that negatively influence ACEs-related communication between adults and primary care clinicians. NP behavioral, cognitive, and socio-environmental factors, as well as personal biases, positionality, and identity are elements that strongly influence ACEs-related communication in clinical practice. Collectively, a deeper examination of these factors can promote innovative strategies to address and mitigate the impact of ACE exposure as it relates to adult mental and physical health outcomes.
Since 2011, Dr. Strauch has been teaching in a variety of capacities at Penn Nursing. First as a clinical instructor in the Mathias Brunner lab and then, as a clinical instructor and didactic faculty for BSN and ABSN students. From 2016-2019, she was a Seminar Leader, Clinical Course Instructor, and Lecturer for several courses in the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP Program at Penn Nursing. Dr. Strauch also precepted Penn AGNP and FNP students while in clinical practice.
Vulnerable Populations and Communication – Dr. Strauch’s research explores how nurse practitioners communicate with adults about adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in the context of the primary care arena. This includes an examination of how the electronic health record can be used as a tool to enhance ACEs-related communication. Outcomes of this research will inform future studies focused on advanced practice nursing education, clinical practice, health policy, and nursing informatics.
Opportunities to Learn and Collaborate at Penn Nursing
Through the Leonard A. Lauder Community Care Nurse Practitioner Program at Penn Nursing, Dr. Strauch has the opportunity to collaborate with students, faculty, and staff across all primary care NP programs. This also includes stakeholders, community practice partners, and a large network of preceptors. Together, they are working to ensure students are prepared to meet the needs of underserved populations and communities when they leave Penn Nursing. This also includes providing interdisciplinary professional development opportunities and support to Penn faculty, preceptors, and community practice partners.
Dr. Strauch also collaborates with the faculty, staff, and students in Penn Dental Medicine’s newly established Care Center for Persons with Disabilities. In this role, she works closely with predoctoral and postdoctoral dental students to provide education around the management of medically complex patients of all physical and cognitive abilities, including a deeper understanding of the social determinants of health. Through this partnership, Dr. Strauch is working to develop a framework for interdisciplinary education and training between nursing and dentistry.
Selected Career Highlights
- American Association of Occupational Health Nursing’s Golden Pen Award, 2011
- Affiliate Member, American Academy of Oral Medicine (AAOM)
- Board Member and Executive Committee Member, Southeast Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center (SE PA AHEC)