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Compher to Receive 2019 Norma M. Lang Award for Scholarly Practice and Policy

The award is given biennially to a Penn Nursing faculty member or a graduate from the School’s doctoral program who has made a distinguished contribution to nursing through scholarly practice.  It honors Norma M. Lang, PhD, the professor and dean emerita of Penn Nursing for her world-renowned contributions to health policy and practice.

Charlene Compher, PhD, RD, CNSC, LDN, FADA, FASPEN, is the Shearer Endowed Term Chair in Healthy Community Practices, Professor of Nutrition Sciences, Director of the Nutrition Programs, and Vice-Chair of Penn Nursing’s Department of Biobehavioral Health Sciences. She will deliver the lecture “Mission Possible: Excellence in Clinical Nutrition,” on Thursday, November 21, 2019, 3-5 PM EST, in the Ann L. Roy Auditorium of Claire M. Fagin Hall. You can register for the event here. Compher, the 6th Norma M. Lang awardee, was selected in recognition of her national and international impact on interprofessional practice, education, research, and policy in the areas of nutrition science and clinical nutrition.

Not only does Compher develop the evidence behind nutrition interventions to improve quality of life for patients with short bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and critical illness, but she also tests strategies to improve gastrointestinal function in patients with short bowel syndrome and compares outcomes associated with malnutrition in hospitalized patients. She collaborates with teams of scientists from diverse academic training in projects examining the role of diet and the microbiome in states of health and disease.

As Clinical Guidelines Editor for the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.), Compher led multi-professional author-teams in the development of more than 20 evidence-based practice guidelines for the provision of nutrition support to neonates, children, and adults. And while President of A.S.P.E.N., she inspired global efforts to standardize the diagnosis of malnutrition in adults to improve the quality of clinical nutrition care and clarify gaps in knowledge about this condition which has such a great impact on quality of life and survival. 

Compher shares her enthusiasm and clinical acumen with Penn students from all undergraduate and several graduate majors. She has directed the extremely popular undergraduate Nutrition Minor since joining the faculty at Penn Nursing in 2001 and the new second major in Nutrition Science since its launch in 2016; she is known to many for her supportive mentorship.

The recipient of numerous awards—including honorary membership in the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism and the Chinese Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition—Compher was inducted as a Fellow of the American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition and recognized by the Drexel University Alumni Association for Service to the Profession.

In addition to her work at Penn Nursing, she is also Director of Clinical Initiatives for the Penn Nutrition Science and Medicine Center and directs Microbiome-related Diet Assessment Research for the Penn-CHOP Microbiome program. Compher maintains a clinical practice with the multi-professional Home Parenteral Nutrition program of the Clinical Nutrition Support Service at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.