Therese S. Richmond, PhD, RN, FAAN
Whether they are shot, hit by a car, or suffer multiple stab wounds, some injured patients heal well, physically and mentally. Others may heal physically, but suffer depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. Therese Richmond’s work on injured patients demonstrates that the psychological effects of trauma, rather than physical injury alone, drive the quality of recovery.
Dr. Richmond is passionate about using nursing science to prevent injury and violence and improve outcomes, particularly in patients from vulnerable urban populations worldwide – those who live on the margins of society, have limited resources, or live in pervasively violent communities. An early clinical position in a Washington, DC trauma ICU and resuscitation unit sparked Dr. Richmond’s interest in preventing injuries and her curiosity about survivors’ quality of life. This experience led to specialization in nursing care for victims of injury and violence, including co-founding the Firearm & Injury Center at Penn two decades ago and which now is a vibrant interdisciplinary research center: the Penn Injury Science Center.
“It is a privilege to work with vulnerable individuals, families, and communities to prevent the impact of injury and violence and improve recovery from serious injury.”
- PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 1995
- MSN, Catholic University of America, 1982
- BSN, University of Delaware,, 1978
- Diploma, Thomas Jefferson University School of Nursing, 1975
In her role as Associate Dean for Research & Innovation, Dr. Richmond helps shape the research and innovation-focused environment that is Penn Nursing. She facilitates systems to enhance research, scholarship, and innovation productivity. She led efforts to create and fulfill the strategic vision for innovation at Penn Nursing.
Dr. Richmond’s research and scholarship are grounded in understanding and overcoming health inequities experienced by individuals and families living in low-resource and marginalized communities. She is committed to identifying and overcoming structural barriers that lead to and reinforce inequities. Her research has a dual approach. She partners with valuable community partners to examine the impact of living in pervasively violent, low-resource communities on families and rigorously producing data that can be used by agencies to inform programmatic initiatives to reduce inequity and improve health, well-being, and safety. She also has a substantive body of research that focuses on disparate outcomes after serious injury in a cohort of Black men with serious traumatic injury and, in a separate cohort, is seeking to uncover modifiable targets that drive disparities seen in transition to chronic pain after serious injury. She served on the Federal Advisory Committee for Healthy People 2030, which in this decade seeks to: eliminate health disparities, achieve health equity, and attain health literacy to improve the health and well-being of all; and create social, physical, and economic environments that promote attaining the full potential for health and well-being for all.
In her role as Associate Dean for Research and Innovation, Dr. Richmond helps shape the research-focused environment that is Penn Nursing, facilitating systems to help faculty increase their scholarship and productivity. Along with geographers, criminologists, attorneys, nurses, psychologists and other experts, Dr. Richmond’s research involves all levels of students, including undergraduate research assistants who work with her research staff and doctoral and post-doctoral members of her research teams. She has received many awards for teaching and mentoring at Penn, including the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. Dr. Richmond teaches and mentors undergraduates, doctoral students, and post-doctoral trainees.
A collaboration between Penn Nursing, Perelman School of Medicine, and the School of Arts & Sciences, the CDC-Funded Penn Injury Science Center brings together university, community, and government partners around injury and violence intervention programs with the greatest potential for impact. The center promotes and performs research, provides training, and translates scientific discoveries into practice and policy. Dr. Richmond serves as Director of the Research Core. Dr. Richmond is on an interdisciplinary team that is using geographic hotspotting to discover U.S. counties that are positive and negative outliers in changes in firearm mortality rates over time and then characterize policy and non-policy differences between these outliers to develop novel insights on how to prevent firearm injury deaths.
Dr. Richmond’s research examines the disparate impact of injury, violence and recovery on vulnerable populations. She works effectively across interdisciplinary teams. She is currently site PI for a NIMHD-funded study with the goal to contribute to the ultimate reduction or outright elimination of racial and ethnic pain disparities by identifying potentially modifiable factors that can serve as intervention targets to reduce or eliminate pain or pain-related burden after serious injury. She works with colleagues at Penn Nursing testing a nursing-driven intervention to prevent falls in older adults residing in low-resource communities that is funded by the NIA.
Selected Career Highlights
- Board of Population Health & Public Health Practice, National Academy of Science, Engineering & Medicine
- Elected, National Academy of Medicine
- Sigma Theta Tau International Episteme Laureate Award
- Federal Advisory Committee to the Secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services for National Health Promotion & Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030
Kaufman, E.J. & Richmond, T.S. (2020). Beyond band-aids for bullet holes: Firearm violence as a public health priority. Critical Care Medicine, 48, 391-397. https://doi.org/10.1097/CCM.0000000000004147.
Richmond, T.S., Wiebe, D., Reilly, P.M., Rich, J., Shults, J., Kassam-Adams, N. (2019). Contributors to post-injury mental health in seriously injured urban black men. JAMA Surgery, 154, 836-843. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamasurg.2019.1622.
Palumbo, A.J., Wiebe, D.J., Kassam-Adams, N., & Richmond, T.S. (2019). Neighborhood environment and health of injured urban black men. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, 6, 1068-1077. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40615-019-00609-5.
Ulrich, C.M., Grady, C., Demiris, G., & Richmond, T.S. (2021). The competing demands of patient privacy and clinical research. Ethics & Human Research,43, 25-31. https://doi.org/10.1002/eahr.500076.
Vargas, L., Velez-Grau, C., Camacho, D., Richmond, T.S., & Meisel, Z.F. (2021). The permeating effects of violence on health services and health in Mexico. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260521990832.