Source Newsroom: University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden have turned to nurses to identify, treat, and conduct research on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as part of their national initiative Joining Forces. April 11 marks the second anniversary of the initiative, which champions wellness, education, and employment among military service members and their families.
Experts in PTSD, pain, and trauma at Penn Nursing, where the First Lady and Dr. Biden announced the nursing component last year, are:
• Therese Richmond, PhD, CRNP, is leader in injury science, conducting pioneering research on the psychological effects of injury and how to address those effects. In a National Institutes of Health-funded study, she found that even among patients who had relatively minor injuries, a substantial number had PTSD and depression, which is a precursor to PTSD, a year or more after the injury.
• Rosemary C. Polomano, PhD, RN, is an expert in pain management, conducting innovative research on the perceptions of pain among military personnel and on battlefield analgesia. Her findings showed that regional nerve blocks and epidurals shortly after injury led to a statistically significant decrease in pain intensity and have the potential to reduce chronic pain, a crucial finding given the high correlation between chronic pain and PTSD.
• Mary Ersek, PhD, RN, specializes in pain and palliative care in older adults. Her work with the NIH’s PROMIS program and her leadership in the ELNEC curriculum are improving end-of-life care for U.S. veterans.
• Salimah Meghani, PhD, CRNP, is working to address pain management in low-income and minority patients. Her focus on racial and ethnic disparities in pain treatment can benefit active military personnel, veterans, and civilians.
The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing is one of the premier research institutions in nursing, producing new knowledge in geriatrics, pediatrics, oncology, quality-of-life choices, and other areas. Researchers here consistently receive more research funding from the National Institutes of Health than any other private nursing school, and many Master’s programs are ranked first in the country.