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Penn Nursing Announces New Endowed Term Chair Appointment

Mary Ersek, PhD, RN FPCN, Professor of Palliative Care in the Department of Biobehavioral Health Sciences, has been appointed the new Killebrew-Censits Chair in Undergraduate Education effective July 1, 2017.

Ersek also holds a clinical appointment with the Philadelphia Veteran’s Administration Medical Center, where most recently, she served as Director of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ PROMISE Center, a national quality improvement program aimed at enhancing the quality of end-of-life care and outcomes for Veterans across 150 Medical Centers. She is a national and international expert on pain and palliative care for older adults, with an emphasis on the nursing home setting. Ersek has a successful record of funding from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, and the National Institutes of Health, and is well published in her area of expertise resulting in her service on the IOM Expert Panel on Advanced Dementia; Chair of the National Nursing Research Field Advisory Committee of the VHA; and Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Palliative Medicine. She is a Fellow in both the American Academy of Nursing and Palliative Care Nursing from the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA). She is the also the recipient of the Distinguished Research Award from the HPNA. 

Ersek’s teaching and mentoring reputation garnered her the Dean’s Award for Exemplary Teaching. She is a leader in interdisciplinary geriatric palliative care education, and is the author of the original End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) Geriatric Curriculum.

In 1991, Pedie Killebrew, a member of Penn Nursing’s Board of Overseers from 1987 - 2010 , joined with fellow Overseer Richard Censits to create the Killbrew-Censits Chair in Undergraduate Education. Together, their funding provided support for “a faculty member who makes outstanding contributions to education.”