New Dean Announced
August 10, 2017
The College of Nursing and Health Professions continues to enhance community health care access, expand its robust online-learning presence and attract critical resources for cutting-edge research. To help keep its place at the forefront of innovative health care education and research, a dynamic leader and distinguished professor has been appointed as the College's new dean.
Laura N. Gitlin, PhD, an applied research sociologist, esteemed professor at Johns Hopkins University
and true interprofessional pioneer, will bring the patient/family- and team-centered approach in which she frames her work as a researcher and practitioner to CNHP when she begins on February 1, 2018.
Gitlin’s work as the Isabel Hampton Robb
Distinguished Professor in the Department of Community Public Health at the Johns Hopkins’ School of Nursing and the department of Psychiatry and division of Geriatric Medicine at Johns Hopkins’ School of Medicine makes her a perfect custodian of CNHP’s interprofessional practice, education and research initiative (IPER
). Her experience as the founding director of the nursing school’s Center for Innovative Care in Aging
, where she oversees research, training and community-based interventions wholly positions her to further develop collaboration between nursing and health professions as well as with those disciplines outside the College.
Nationally and internationally recognized for research on psychosocial environmental home and community-based interventions to help persons with dementia and their family caregivers, Gitlin is a well-funded researcher, having received continuous research and training grants from federal agencies and private foundations for more than 30 years. She has written or co-authored nearly 300 scientific publications, and published 6 books — the most recent in 2016, on behavioral intervention research. A forthcoming book is on transforming dementia care and services.
While her work is steeped in scholarship, Gitlin adheres to a straightforward belief that individuals, especially as they age, know best how they want to live. When practitioners craft an intervention by asking an individual what they want to do, Gitlin believes they can devise solutions that are as much common sense as they are innovative. This kind of forward thinking is a guiding principle of the College as it prepares clinicians, educators, researchers and health care leaders for the new models of care and the challenges we face in caring for an aging population.
Gitlin is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2014 M. Powell Lawton Award
from the Gerontological Society of America. In 2015, she was named as an honorary fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, and will soon be inducted as an honorary member of Sigma Theta Tau
, the honor society of nursing. This combination of nursing and medical education, research and administration will advance the College’s direction and continue to draw outstanding students, innovative faculty and ground-breaking researchers to its door.
Gitlin will contribute her expertise and guidance to a steadily growing college that works to train the next generation of culturally competent and socially just nurses and health professionals. She will lead the College as it pursues new opportunities in decreasing health disparities among residents in Philadelphia exemplified by the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services
, the recently launched Community Wellness HUB
at the Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships and all its practices